Last week I took Jenna to meet her 1st grade teacher in anticipation of the start of school. I found myself holding back tears while we were at the school. But, the tears weren't for Jenna - they were for Brennan. I feel confident that Jenna will like 1st grade, that she will learn and make new friends. I feel the same about Tanner and Parker. But Brennan? I'm not so sure. I honestly can't imagine sending him off to school. Will he like being at school? Will he be able to tell me if he doesn't? Will he be accepted by his peers and their parents? It feels so safe having him home with me where I can care for him, protect him, make sure his needs are met and that he is happy. To send him to school where someone else will be responsible for him seems unimaginable.
After we visited Jenna's school, we were out with a group of kids. Brennan was enthralled with the amount of activity and watching intently with his mouth hanging open, as he sometimes does. One of the kids looked at him and started laughing saying "look at the baby's mouth." He went on and on, laughing and laughing, saying "look at him, look at the baby, look at his mouth." I said something about Brennan being so in awe of all the excitement, that I thought he was probably trying to say "wow" or something like that. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it as I don't think the child was being mean spirited. I think he just noticed something that seemed different about the wat Brennan looked at that moment, found humor in it and wanted to point it out to his friends. It may not sound like a big deal, but it broke my heart. It was the first time that a child has made fun of Brennan for something that Brennan has absolutely no control of and it made me feel terrible. Really terrible.
When we came home that night, I was feeding Brennan and working on helping him drink from the straw cup and just started crying. We've been working on the straw every day for weeks and occasionally for weeks before that and he still doesn't get it. I put the straw in his mouth, wait for him to close his lips, then squirt some liquid into his mouth. The theory is that at some point he will learn that he needs to suck in order for the liquid to come out of the straw. But that hasn't happened. He just hasn't gotten the hang of it and I'm feeling so frustrated. I want so badly to be done breastfeeding, but obviously can't until he can get enough liquids from another source. I feel like I need a break - a few days away without the kids - and I just don't know when that will happen if I can't wean him. There are many other skills that we've been working on for much longer than the straw, but the straw is the only one that causes me frustration because it directly affects me and my ability (or inability) to have a much needed weekend for myself.
Basically, I had a big 'ol pity party for myself that night. I cried and cried and cried. I haven't had a night like that since Brennan was a couple of months old. So, maybe I was due.