We got some good advice at the LLL meeting. I have a plan to set limits and boundaries re: nursing in hopes to heal the relationship that has taken a wrong turn somewhere. I realized that part of the problem may be that I am over-explaining things to her past her ability to listen and hold her attention., and sometimes when I should be giving her a clear directive I am leaving it open-ended almost like a suggestion or request (example: Let's go get dressed now, OK? or even Are you ready or Do you want to go get dressed now? instead of It's time to get dressed now, Katie.) I thought I was being respectful to her by treating her as a full person with freedom of choice, not realizing that at her stage of development she needs consistent guidance to feel secure. She wants to behave and do a good job but she needs parents to put the framework to allow this to happen. I have a hard time being authoritative (note the difference between this and authoritarian) because I have a very rebellious personality and absolutely zero respect for "authority figures" based solely on their supposed authority. I felt like I should treat her the way I imagine I would want to be treated in her shoes. But a 2 year old does not have the logic or life experience to have good judgment or the ability to make complex choices, so I am not doing her any favors by giving her too much freedom of choice. This is probably one of the biggest challenges I will face in my life.
Today we nursed on the couch again before nap and bedtime, and Bill took her to bed without incident (without a peep even!) I am going to be firm and consistent that if she hurts me (whether it is biting, pinching, clawing the other breast) the milk will be put away until she is ready to nurse nicely. If she wakes up and wants to nurse and can't cope in bed we will move to the couch. Unfortunately there is no room for a comfy chair in the bedroom. Tomorrow we will follow the same routine as the last few days and hopefully that will be enough for her to get used the new routine, because by Thursday I will be on my own with getting her to sleep.