|Trust me . . . I know from experience. |
This WILL leave a mark.
Here I am! Worry not; I’m still alive. My fan(s) have been restless, awaiting the return of my wit and sarcasm. Well, ONE fan, but she’s also the woman who once sucked on a Tupperware cup for so long that it actually suctioned to her face until she had a perfectly-formed circle around her mouth that lasted for days – so I’m not sure how much stock I want to put in her opinion. Granted, we were like seven, but it still makes me laugh.
Anyhoo. I’ve been busy raising my little ones and trying to keep my head out of the oven. It has been a trying couple weeks. I think Small’s nursing days are numbered. The plan was for me to nurse as long as possible in hopes that I could get to around one year. I’m a little creeped out by babies/toddlers/preschoolers/college-bound adolescents who still nurse, but who am I to judge. Small is now seven months old, but he has developed some rather unsettling new habits:
- He bites. Hard. I know this is common, but when your child is clamping down with his vise-like chompers and then shaking his head from side-to-side until tears come to your eyes, it’s time to reevaluate. And in the Too Much Information category, we have this delightful little nugget – he bites so hard that my nippy turns white. It literally drains of color. That can’t be good.
- He has started playing kazoo with my milk bags. He’s learning to make noises, which is cute and all, but I really wish he wouldn’t practice his new musical talent while he’s eating. I like him to concentrate on the business at hand with the appropriate amount of efficiency and decorum. Small, however, has taken to latching on and then blowing raspberries while humming. Pause here for that visual to sink in.
- I’m tired of wearing undergarments that are more functional than fun. I do not have a disposable income that allows me to purchase several sexy $50 Elle MacPherson nursing bras. My budget is more of the Target variety. Therefore I have tan, cotton, functional nursing bras that are washed so often that the elastic falls in little cascades under my armpits.
- Small’s aim is not always what it should be and he has been known to try to latch on to the roll of fat UNDER my boob, which does wonders for my self-esteem. Seriously, I think he assumes I have four udders.
- There is no subtle way to nurse this child. He slurps and sucks as if it is his last meal, and he squirms so much he usually kicks the Hooter Hider off – which kinda defeats the purpose of Hiding the Hooters. (WHY didn’t I invent this, by the way?)
Nursing has been an adventure, right from the very beginning. I remember being in the hospital with Large and being positioned in the awkward contortion of a New Mommy (you know, shoulders hunched up, nervous smile, boob in hand) when my brother walked in, saw me, said “Eeeeeeeee,” and walked out. We have never discussed this moment. Nor will we.
No one ever told me about nursing pads either, so I had no idea they even existed when I brought my first child home. (We also came home and realized we didn't have any diapers except those we had taken from the hospital. Brand new nursery furniture? Check. Tons of cute baby clothes? Check. Diapers? Hmmmm . . . . ) My dad, ever observant, commented on my wet shirt one day. I must have looked like I had faucets running underneath my clothes as I dripped from the chest down.
“You’re leaking,” he said.
He’s a man of many words.
I'm sorry, but it's just weird to know there's a little person sucking on you while you're trying to have a conversation with your father. He’d laugh nervously when I’d say “release the hounds” every time I’d get ready to nurse. Just trying to break the tension of having a familial audience as I prepared to nourish my child.
In the beginning, I would search out nursing lounges in every mall I visited and I would trek from one end to the other in order to find one. With Medium, I learned that visiting a dressing room was just as easy – there was a place to sit and Large could entertain himself in the mirror while I got down to business. Now that Small is here, however, I have two energetic boys in my charge, so I don’t always have the luxury of seeking out privacy. I have whipped my boobs out in Wegmans, in the stands of a college football game, and at the Strawberry Hill horse races. I have no shame. I’m quite sure most of my friends have seen one and/or both of my boobs over the course of our acquaintance.
I have never been asked to leave an establishment. (Not for nursing, anyway.) I have endured the curious stares of children, the furrowed brows of older women, and the averted glances of men who are trying not to seem perverted. And Large and Medium have learned all about mammals even though I STILL can’t find an answer when they ask why they have nippies. I don’t know son. I just don’t know.