Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pounds per square inch

Almost all the breastfeeding moms I know admit that within a surprisingly short period of time, they come to think of their formerly sexy bodily assets as little more than utilitarian tools for baby-feeding. As a result, you'll rarely find a group more comfortable talking about body parts than nursing mothers. But I understand that not all of you out there may be so sanguine. For the sake of this post, then, let us refer to the two pieces of equipment with which I feed boy as "Thelma" and "Louise." Agreed? We shall proceed.

You all already know, Internets, that boy has a thing about sleeping soundly. Meaning, he doesn't really do it. We're currently in the mode of getting up approximately every two hours for nursing during the night. I know for a fact he's not really starving each time -- he doesn't nurse like he means business, just wants to get in a snuggle and get back to sleep the best and most effective way he knows how. So for now, I'm trudging up and down the steps six or seven times a night. Not only is it not really fun, it makes for some groggy feeds in the wee hours. And that's why I wasn't sure that this really happened at first.

You should know this: To help keep boy in full-on "sleep" mode, I enter his room, lift him from his crib, walk to the rocking chair, nurse him, and then lower his sleeping self back into the crib -- ALL IN TOTAL DARKNESS. Advanced night vision is one of those many skills that a) no one tells you you NEED when you have a baby, and b) you develop in a hurry if you don't already have it. Even so, visibility is murky at best, especially when the streetlight on our corner is acting up (which it's been doing). 

A few nights ago, at one of those fuzzy am-I-really-awake-again feedings, I was helping boy wrap up his time with Thelma so I could shift him to Louise for round two. In the dark, I lifted him up, turned him the necessary 180 degrees, and got him settled again. As he started in for the second half of his midnight snack, I felt a pain emanating from Thelma's neighborhood. Since boy's been teething, this was not really a big deal, but it was sharper than it had been. Geez, I thought. This kid's picking NOW to start really biting me? He doesn't know how good he's got it or how tenuous his situation is here. Good Lord, that really smarts. I checked to make sure boy was comfortably settled, then reached over to Thelma to see if maybe she was bleeding or something. That's when I felt The Pincer Grip.

Apparently, just nursing at night wasn't enough for boy. He felt the need to keep a GRIP on Thelma when he slid over to Louise's bar stool for the remainder of his evening. With his TINY POINTY FINGERS. Very HARD, I might add. It was like trying to nurse a Dungeness crab. 

I disengaged his killer grip from Thelma, and quickly adjusted my clothing to ensure he wouldn't make a grab for her again. I'd heard of biting the hand that feeds you, but good grief -- pinching the nip? That's too much. 

The next day, I wasn't entirely sure I hadn't dreamed the whole thing. But when night fell, sure enough -- my crustacean was at it again. And now I find that if I don't play a most undignified game of cover-up as soon as I can after round one is over, I'm in danger of personal space invasion of the most painful order. 

And someday when he's sixteen, I'm telling his girlfriend all about it. In front of him. Maybe even with hand gestures. 

I bet he'll love that.

1 comment:

Shorty said...

Very funny! Thanks for the laugh! And best of luck getting through the crustacean phase quickly!