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Thread: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    I need a long-term perspective check.

    I'm pretty sure this is one of those parenting moments when it would be best for me to chill out and trust the strong bond between myself and my son. He's two years old now, and still nursing happily. He's also a toddler who's working on his two year molars off and on, which means that his appetite is erratic but generally on an upward trend.

    My in-laws are not happy that he's still nursing. Even though I've explained how happy our pediatrician is that DS still nurses, especially when he had pneumonia last month and wouldn't eat anything.

    In the car this morning, they sat in the back while we got burgers for everyone. DS exclaimed, "Burger!" They started saying things to DS like, "But you don't get a burger; you still drink milk. You're not a baby anymore, you don't drink milk anymore. You need to learn to eat. Big boys don't drink milk anymore."

    Obviously, steam erupted from my ears. DH was oblivious (fiddling with his phone) and didn't hear them. I said nothing, thinking that this might be a moment for me to let it roll off my back.

    So... That was probably a wise decision, right? I educate when I can (like when my MIL asked me at 9 months, "So, your milk goes bad after a while, right?"), but I don't want to make it a fighting ground. Especially when I'm the mom and I get to decide, ultimately.

    I just hate that they tried to shame him about it. Ughhhhhh.

    Thanks for your wisdom, Mamas.

    Jennifer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    240

    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    o I am so sorry this happended to your son and you.
    Something similar happened to my son when he was 3 yrs old. I was very very upset one because I thought he would stop nursing, and two felt so bad it happended to him and also because at the time I could not think of anything at all to say, I was so speachless!

    But in fact he did not stop nursing, however he has been extremely careful ever since to not ever mention bf or request bf around others, even his dad (who does not really mind he still nurses). the person shaming him about bf however were not his grand parents, or relatives so I do not know if that would make a difference. I think as long as he got his burger anyway he is at age two certainly capable of drawing his own conclusions. Also, what I did was tell my son once we were alone again that I was happy for him to nurse as long as he wanted to (but I did not directly speak about what had been said), I simply said I am happy with you drinking from my breast as long as you like. And I do think it helped him to know I was happy and willing for him to continue. I think what might not be a good idea is to say something negative to him about his grand parents - as in general I don't think it helps children if one adult speaks badly of the another adult thus forcing them to take sides.

    Especially when I'm the mom and I get to decide, ultimately.
    that is the key! don't gve up hang in there. I admire you for trying to educate your MIL - i am more of a harmony seeker myself so I simply after about age two i let family assume we had weaned - it was that easy, if no one saw us nursing it did not occur them he still did, except for that time when he was almost three and he asked to nurse and another mom mocked him (this was in the changing room when I picked him up from day care).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Central VA
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    I'm impressed with your self-restraint. I'd have probably blown up.
    Mum to DS (04/07)
    EPing for former 28 weeker (03/12)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    I'm of the opinion that either you or your husband need to address this with his parents. It doesn't even have to be about nursing, per se: you want your son to have a healthy relationship with food, and part of that is not mocking what he likes/prefers, or making a big deal of how much he does or does not eat. I assume that you have fairly regular contact with them, and the issue of food/nutrition in general isn't going to go away, regardless of your nursing relationship. So better to set some ground rules now about that sort of thing, rather than letting your anger fester as time goes on!

    Just my two cents. Good luck with whatever you decide

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    that's not cool mama. its hard to know when to say or not say something and its even worse when you are really upset. i know just reading your post and imagining my MIL saying that made me mad and my heart race.

    for me, i would say something to my MIL when we were next together. like " i just wanted to talk to you about something you said the other day. I heard you say... to ds and that was not appropriate to say to him. its not ok for you to tell him what he should or should not be doing and what makes him a big boy. it was very hurtful."

    i am very matter of fact about things. like this isnt a discussion, i am not interested in your reasoning and i dont need to hear your opinion, it was not approriate for you to say that to my son. so dont say that or insinitate that to him again. i know you care about him and love him and i know you respect my decisions as a parent thanks.
    and i dont mean to come off rude but really many people feel like they can say nasty mean things when they phrase it at a child and its not ok with me.

    no need to create an argument or discussion about why you nurse, just state it was not ok for them to say that. end of discussion.

    sorry mama. that kind of stuff just sucks and its not ok.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    I agree with carm3 - shaming in general just does not seem to be a positive way for your in-laws to be interacting with their grandson. I also agree with mammi that I wouldn't get into a fight with them in front of your LO. If it were me, I'd probably talk to DH first, since they're his parents, and figure out a way to talk to them about a) the fact that you don't like them shaming him, whether it's about BF'ing or any other behavior; and b) how long you BF your son is a decision that will be made mutually by you and your son. If for some reason that conversation is not possible - well, then I'd go the route mammi suggests, let your son know he can BF for as long as he likes and it's not up to other people, and tell the in-laws you are weaned. Ugh, so frustrating.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    Thank you all for your support and indignation. It feels good to know that my massive irritation isn't completely unfounded!

    Mammi, I'm sorry that you had that negative experience with the other mom. It just hurts so much when adults mock a child. I think your advice about not speaking ill about my in-laws to my DS is really really smart. I didn't think of it in that way, but obviously I would never want him to feel like he had to choose sides.

    Krasota, I was pretty impressed too! It was surely influenced by the fact that that they cooked food for all 24 guests who came to DS's second birthday party yesterday.

    Carm3 and Mtmama, usually this would be my instinct too -- to bring it up soon and kindly. However, with my in-laws it's complicated by the fact that there is a language barrier between us -- English is not their first language, and neither DH nor I speak their language well enough to have these kinds of nuanced conversations.

    Bfwmomof3, I talked to DH about what they said after I had posted this. He definitely felt it was not a cool thing to say, too. However, he said, "They don't know what they're talking about so let's ignore them." About the food pushing and calling DS "too skinny boy", he chalked it to cultural differences. In his family, it's not possible to eat enough -- his parents will always push more food (ie. food is love). He told me that one of his cousins was always called "fat boy" by his whole family growing up -- he says it's just part of the conversation.

    Man, mixed marriages are hard. (I guess ALL marriages are hard this way, since every family is different.) Knowing how to respect difference while also asking to be treated the way you feel is respectful... sooo much work.

    Thanks again for all your kind words!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    I also admire your forbearance. I would have been tempted to throw the ILs from the car, possibly while traveling at high speed.

    I think if something like this happens again, you can handle it by interjecting "Ha ha, Grandma and Grandpa are just kidding! Of course you can have a burger. Nursing is good for you and Grandma and Grandpa know it." It's a little passive-aggressive, but it will probably protect your LO's feelings and shut your ILs up without requiring a confrontation.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    Ooh, I like mommal's suggestion. If you can't have an outright conversation with them, I think that's the way to go!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Big boys don't drink milk anymore"

    I think I probably would have said something, if only just to let him know that his grandparents were not telling him the truth.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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