Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Milky Crime

I have done something I'm not necessarily proud of. I slipped something in my toddler's sippy cup this morning. It wasn't anything bad, really! But it could have been arsenic, given the amount of guilt I'm feeling.

So we all know that it's that time of year-- change of seasons, back to school, whatever triggers it, everyone is getting sick. And we have had lots of sickies in these parts. I definitely tend towards germophobia, although we all know that it's an uphill battle. Even if you seclude yourself from all of civilization, there are always grocery carts, family members that work, and then people who aren't even feeling sick yet but already contagious. It feels like it's only a matter of time before everyone starts getting sick, and there are few things less fun than a home with sick babies.

None of the "nuclears," as we call them (me, Ben, Lily, Zosia), have gotten sick yet, praise God. We have been taking all the precautions: frequent hand washing, lots of liquids and vitamin C, staying clear of kids with symptoms. I know that Lily has special protection because, as all the breastfeeding moms out there know, breastmilk passes on all of your adult antibodies. But what about Zosia? She's the one who's down and playing with lots of other kids, the one who doesn't wash her hands quite as often or quite as carefully. She's the one who needs the extra protection even more than Lily, who's resting comfortably in a sling most of the time. Which is where my crime comes in.

Often in the morning I have a little extra milk, so I feel like I need to pump. But honestly, Lily doesn't really drink milk out of a bottle. Who would, when mama's always near by? So there's definitely extra milk hanging around, that special milk with all the adult antibodies. I'm guessing you know where this is going. Mix it up with a little regular milk, a little brown sugar, and viola! A toddler health cocktail. She didn't even notice. She loved the stuff! But somehow, I'm still feeling like a really sneaky parent.

There have to be limits to this sort of thing. My sister has a friend whose mother used to slip breastmilk in her breakfast cereal when she was an older child-- old enough to know what was going on and remember. I can't become that mother! Don't worry, Ben, your cereal is safe for now. But no promises when flu season is in full swing.


Once Upon a Parent said...

I slip probiotics into the boys' milk, but if I had breastmilk to spare I might do the same thing. If I had to do it over again, I think I would be an extended nurser. Next time!

satakieli said...

Don't feel guilty about it! It's so good for her!

I'm still breastfeeding my 2 year old and if I didn't have a horrible aversion to pumping (I exclusively pumped for 4 months before i could get him to breastfeed and now hate the sight of that pump!) I'd probably still give him breastmilk in a sippy cup after he's weaned.

Emily said...

When I went to a breastfeeding class with my friend the mother/nurse teaching the course said she did the same thing! It really is healthy for them. In fact you are in solidarity with women all over the globe. We were also taught that mothers in countries where medicine is not readily available put their toddlers back on the breast if there is a breakout in the community! Just to give more nutrients which are much needed. I know you don't like to deceive Zosia, but instead you can think of it as giving her a little culture lesson. Well, maybe that is going to far :) but you know what I mean!...just my non-motherhood thoughts. Probably better you don't sneak in Ben's breakfast.

Adele said...

Alright, thanks for the support, guys! Yeah, I always imagined I would be breastfeeding Zosia well into toddlerhood, but when she weaned herself when I was pregnant with Lily, I went with it. It is definitely nice to feel like I can continue helping her little immune system.