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from Life After Lactation
I think what most surprised me about motherhood was the absolute relentlessness of a young child’s needs. Due to breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and my firm belief that nothing and no one else can ever come close to the way a mother nurtures her young child, the boy is rarely away from me. My sweet son has been a smiley, smelly, noisy extension of myself for nearly a year. I have highly valued solitude since my own childhood, and I somehow failed to factor this into my decision to procreate.
I’ll admit I did not cope well with becoming the constant caregiver of my own, adorable little leech. I’ll go further and confess that sometimes I still don’t cope well. Depression due to fluctuating hormones and anxiety triggered by a traumatic birth experience began conspiring to devour the remains of my sleep-deprived brain. I think I have nearly recovered, without drugs even (though there’s certainly no medal for that), but nothing about me will ever be the same. This little person wants all me, all the time, but I’ve changed so much that some days I don’t even know who this person is. I certainly don’t feel qualified to be the center of someone else’s world.
But the fact remains that, during this boy’s brief early years, I am his center. When he’s is crying for me, reaching for me, smiling and laughing at me, when he’s nursing, when he’s hanging on my leg, when my arm muscles twitch with overexertion because he only wants mama to hold him…when I’m washing diapers, dumping poop into the toilet, and not getting any sort of grown-up time—This is when I remind myself how much I’ll miss this time when it’s over and I am no longer needed. I can get a bit whiny about all the cleaning and care-giving tasks, especially when I get the feeling (sometimes justified, more often not), that my husband is not pulling his share of this 20-ish pound weight. What reminds me that he’s worth all this and more? Here is the cheese for my whine about my son:
He has ready smiles and huge grins. He smiles about everything, and he thinks I’m hilarious.
He reaches his arms way up for me, laughing excitedly and kicking his legs when I bend to lift him up.
He gives big, open-mouthed, Muppet kisses. Wet ones.
His breathy, satisfied “aaahhh!”after he takes a sip of water makes him sound like he’s auditioning for a 90’s soda commercial. He knows I think this is funny.
When he falls asleep at my breast, I feel all warm and fuzzy.
His “Mmmmmm!” when he is offered Cajun cooking is so ecstatic it’s almost a purr, and to see him devour said cooking is a sight to behold.
He yells angrily at me, red face and all, when I have to redirect him from something he shouldn’t be doing. “Ahbladahnaaah! AAARGH!” It sounds like he’s cursing me out in science-fiction language, and reminds me that I should probably gain better control of my own use of profanity.
I’m still praying that God will use this cheese to turn my whine into wine. I also wouldn’t say no to some actual wine.