It’s been a trying day.
I realize I have a lovely baby. He eats well most of the time, does lots of sleeping compared to many babies, smiles a lot, is learning like a li’l turbo-genius, and brings us immeasurable joy.
Also, he bites. On his mom’s nipples. This is not so lovely.
I know women who say, “Yeah, I remember when my little so-and-so bit me for the first time… I weaned him/her right then and there!” This is the kind of declaration at which La Leche League leaders visibly cringe. Obviously I do not belong to this school of thought, since I have been bitten many times. On the nipples. And I haven’t weaned yet.
Today was one of those days when it seemed my “mommy brain” had taken my regular brain and bound and gagged it into submission. E and I have had a few restless nights in a row, so I’m getting a grumpy buildup in my patience ducts. For the second time in a week, I forgot to take my carefully prepared baby food with me when we visited friends. It sat on the counter instead, and for the second time, E had food-from-a-jar, which my poor hubby went out and bought at the last minute. (Not that this is a huge deal to me – I’m not a hard-core purist – but still, blaarrghh.) E was too worked up to eat more than a few bites. I had also forgotten a note with information I needed, which I had conscientiously written myself and I could have sworn put in my pocket… nope. Feeling like you’re senile does nothing to lessen grumpy buildup.
So as E’s bedtime approached, I went to nurse him. We had nursed a little bit at our friends’ house, but he had bitten me on both sides, so he didn’t get much. This time he got even less before indulging himself in really hard bites that make one afraid to offer one’s breast to one’s baby. And when I yelp in pain at these moments, he always pops off (thank goodness) but usually also smiles like it’s funny. It is not funny you darn baby. Makes him seem like a malicious little demon-child.
Tonight, suddenly I had visions of weaning, or having to pump instead of nurse him – a proposition too time-consuming to fathom at the moment, not to mention exhausting. For the first time in my overly charmed, naive life as a mother, I fervently wished I could just hand him off to someone and not see him at all for a couple of hours. (I can hear my dad saying, Me! Hand him off to me!)
Naturally, it was E’s bedtime after that, and Sean has a very early morning tomorrow, so I did quite the opposite: I changed his diaper, put him in his sleeper, read him stories, swaddled him, sang to him, and put him to bed. But my patience was… iffy.
He’s still my favourite baby. Even after going to our friends’ house and visiting with their 5-day-old son, who weighs as much as a lettuce leaf and has silky brown hair and slept like a rag doll basically the whole time we were there, with incredible newborn sweetness… E’s still my favourite.
Maybe I could just knock his teeth out. He doesn’t really need them, does he?