(Warning: if you are squeamish about breastfeeding and related anatomy…DO.NOT.READ.)
It began with the words, “Mommy can you s-nugga me?”
“Of course I can snuggle you, Julianna. C’mere.”
Julianna cuddled up under my arm as we settled in for bedtime prayers. The younger boys were being pokey, as usual. Julianna rested her head against me for a minute and then raised her hand to point to a particular part of my anatomy. “Mommy, what, are, these?”
“We’ve talked about this before, Julianna. Those are my breasts.”
“Oh, yoh bwest?”
“Yes, you’ll have them someday, too.”
“What are, they for?”
“That’s how I fed all of you when you were babies. That’s how mommies give milk to their babies.”
Alex, up on the top bunk, emerged from the depths of the Deathly Hallows. “I always liked watching you with that milking machine.”
“That would be called a ‘breast pump,’” I said, wincing.
“No, the milking machine. I liked watching the drops fall in the bottle, and then you poured it all in those plastic bags and put it in the freezer.”
“When are you gonna use the milking machine again?” This from Nicholas. And at that point, it was clearly time to pray and send kids off to dreamland.
Eighteen hours later, I gave Nicholas a job: “Here. Take this and put it under the chair in my room. You know, the chair in the corner by the window?”
Blank, then a sudden clearing of expression. “Ohhhhhh!” he shouted. “The MILKING CHAIR!”
Well…it did used to be my nursing chair, yes…but now it’s my writing chair. And I suppose there’s a certain parallel between the nurturing of human babies and the nurturing of word babies.
But we clearly have some work to do to differentiate between Mommy…
and dairy animal.
The boys and I just recently discussed the um, functionality, of breasts as they relate to feeding infants. I pointed out that they have breasts and nipples but unlike mine, their’s would not be used to feed a baby. I was surprised that a) the discussion went so well and b) they weren’t grossed out (they are at a girls are icky stage). Although they saw me nurse and pump, it was long enough ago they don’t remember, so I credit that as to why they didn’t have the same reactions as your boys!
You were able to breast feed your babies; poor, poor dairy cows. They give birth to their calves and before they can even clean up and feed them their first meal, the calves are taken away from them never to be seen again. When I was young I vowed when I grew up I was going to get a dairy cow and when she had a calf, she would have it with her until it was old enough to be weaned and if my family had to buy their milk at the store, so be it.
So did you?
The nurse/lactation consultant walked into my room while I was pumping after having Daniel and asked if I felt like a cow.
Oh!!!! I just realized I forgot the best story! Darn the luck! Might have to do a followup on Friday…
My Medela “twins” and I spent many a lunch hour together!