Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Quickly Thursday


Internets! I keep thinking I’ll find time for real posts, but the semester is kicking my ass pretty hard. So. Let’s see what I can speed-type before the Bean wakes up (and God, heap blessings on the head of his babysitter for taking him to the playground to get worn out). ETA: He’s peacefully reading his Donald Crews truck book from the library (OMG it is such an awesome book), so you get pictures, too.

Item: Naptime nursing session is done! And pretty painlessly, at that, if you don’t count this weird engorgement kick my boobs went on about two weeks in, who knows why except to continue their tradition of driving me nuts.

I’m away from the Bean at nap time Mondays through Thursdays, so on week one, I nursed him down on Friday and then made Sugar do naps on the weekend. The following Thursday, we were on a train to Virginia, it was hours past nap time, and he was a wreck, so I did nurse him. I thought this would be bringing us back to square one, since he would still have the pattern of nursing before naps when I am available, but I gave putting him down with a bottle a try for the two days (Friday and Sunday) that I had to handle naps in Virginia, and it worked! It was the wildest thing, and I am certain it is due to the magic of Starr Hill and starrhillgirl in particular — he slept through the night with almost no problem there, despite our sharing a room, and woke up happy, every time. Who wouldn’t be happy to wake up in starrhillgirl’s bedroom, though, I ask you?

On that Monday, we were back on the train, and I did nurse him, but that’s been that. Woo!

Item: I haven’t started doing anything about the next feed to go, partly because being down to two is such a relief. I have a lot more patience for the whole business now that it is only two, short sessions, neither of which is supposed to end in his falling asleep. I’m even finding I don’t mind going without a book or iPad to look at, which is saying something. (I know there is a school of thought that it’s Terrible to do anything but Gaze Adoringly at a nursing child — I have recently been admonished by one book that even talking while nursing a newborn is an inappropriate distraction — but frankly, I have been grateful for distractions that let me at least feel like a milk cow with a brain. Clearly, I don’t hate nursing, or I’d have given it up long ago, but as miraculous as the whole thing is, the moment to moment…. It gets a little dull, and I get stir-crazy.) Anyway, it’s a nice way to be winding down with the whole business.

Item: I imagine bedtime makes the most sense, although it’s true that he is already going without the morning session two days a week. Hmmm. We’ll see.

Item: Bedtime is becoming baroque. For a week or two, he was refusing to go down for me at all, but when we tried making it Sugar’s job, he balked at that, too. So now the deal is that Sugar gets him pajama’d and brushed and so forth. Then I try to read him a story, while he alternately demands to nurse (Guess who started saying “nurse? Nurse?” the very week I started weaning him? Dab hand at guilt, this one) and to have his bottle with Sugar. I nurse him for a few minutes, sometimes while Sugar plays the piano, then I leave and she takes over with a bottle, and then (if all goes well) he goes down pretty peacefully.

It’s a Bit Much, but oddly it still takes less time than it used to for me to put him down, so there’s that. I’m also hoping that adding elements will mean there is still some routine left to follow when the nursing part goes. We’ll see.

Item: we visited starrhillgirl! It was The Greatest, as I bet you can imagine. Bourbon was had, as was gin. Country ham made its way into biscuits. Classrooms were visited, as was the local grocery I am terribly fond of, what with their house-label canned goods and their county ham and their canning aisle.

The Bean read his first Dykes To Watch Out For book…


…and seemed to love it.




There was chicken watching and boudin-eating (thanks to shg’s terribly generous friend) and almost enough just sitting on the porch swing and talking. Sugar did more work on her long-running photo series of houses inhabited by the same family for 20+ years. (shameless plug for Sugar here. Any of you have family or friends she should visit around NYC?)

Item: So much talking! I feel like the Bean adds three words a day. God, I just love it. He’s also playing with language in different ways; for instance, he spent a couple of weeks adding “ie” to the ends of words he uses a lot, such that walk became walkie and book, bookie (heh), and so forth. I ask his babysitter if he got it from her, but apparently it’s just something he thought was fun. Probably because it makes everything sound more like a cookie.

Item: The word of the day is pee. For a few weeks now, he has been saying “pee” to us when we are in the bathroom, but it has not at all been clear to me that he knows what the word means, except that it’s something we talk about in there. But today, he was saying it, and after we wrestled off his diaper, he peed in his potty. I am shocked. And pleased. And apparently now a person who talks about pee on the Internet. Other people’s pee, I mean; obviously mine has been fair game for some time.

Other bathroom skills:


Item: Night sleep is rocky again, and now he only settles for Sugar. Poor Sugar. I will say again that the smartest pre-baby parenting decision I ever made was to insist on buying an Ikea chaise so that there was an adult sleeping place in his room.

Item: Eating is still picky as all get, but at least his caloric needs seem to have dropped enough that failing to eat a big meal doesn’t ruin the whole day and night. I still rather want to stab people — including my former self — who smugly believe that raising a child with a broad palate is just a matter of confidently offering the foods you want them to eat. I’d love it if the Bean would steal things off my plate or even open his mouth to taste a new thing, but it’s not happening. (I know it takes 15 or whatever tries to get used to a flavor, but how many sightings does it take to get a try?) His doctor says his diet is okay and that the pickiness could be worse, and that in the long run, children eat like their parents. I sure hope she’s right.

At least he will touch brussels sprouts.


Item: I ran out of nifedipine for a couple of days (yes, I’m bad at this), and even only nursing twice a day, the nips still need it. Sheesh. I am really, really, really hoping they aren’t just going to be like this for the rest of my life, as I don’t like the idea of taking this pill forever. Nor of giving up grapefruit forever, especially if that means no sea breezes with May.

22 thoughts on “Quickly Thursday

  1. Winsome child, that. Very winsome.

    About the Adoring Gaze At Nursing Child – for the sake of f*ck, WHY? I understand the need to perhaps nurse in a quiet place with few distractions – baby turning head to see what is going on over there WITHOUT LETTING GO I have witnessed, and I nearly died of fright, and it certainly wasn’t even my nipple. But Gazing Adorably? What on earth for? Is not the Nursing Child ipso facto OCCUPIED?

    With baroque sleep rituals, when it came to my youngest two siblings (the ones I was old enough to babysit), both went through a toddler phase of Not Sleeping Unless Deity Is Placated, Also Deity Is Capricious. In the end my mother let them run riot until they fell asleep under the kitchen table, and then dumped them in the crib. It worked for one sibling. It did NOT for the other. Oy vey. Just think, one day Bean will be 14 and you won’t be able to get him OUT of bed, not even with a bucket of ice-cubes. Such a helpful thought, that. So practical and reassuring in the present crisis.

    Anyway. I am drinking grapefruit soda, and I toast you with it.

    • My children have both done the turn-without-letting-go thing and I can testify that it hurts like hell, especially once they have TEETH to hold on with.

      • This morning, I lay on my side in bed to nurse the Bean. He moved on to my upper breast, so that he was sort of kneeling in front of me. Then he decided to lie down. Then he decided to climb onto and straddle my side. Then he decided to hurl himself, headfirst, behind me, at which point I wrenched myself free. I wonder why my nips hurt in the mornings?

    • My God, I love grapefruit soda. I can just *taste* it. Must recover nipple autonomy.

  2. 1) My former self also believed that about food. And my kid, of all the kids we know, is pretty much the LEAST picky, and that isn’t saying much. He’s slowly growing out of it and finally old enough that we can make him take two bites of everything without too much hassle. I’m sure that the Bean will eventually love Brussels sprouts again (though it took this recipe to get me to not hate them, after 30 years of consistent efforts.)

    2) I know a couple people with nifty, long-inhabited (by them) houses in New Haven, if you’re ever up there.

    3) That has nine fewer steps than our most baroque Bug bedtime ritual. I feel that it is entirely reasonable.

    4) Next time I’m in your part of the world (probably two weeks from never, at the rate I’m going), we will get together with a bottle of bourbon and lament our boobs. Seriously. Natural and easy MY ASS.

  3. Said grocery store has a website! Just f everyone’s i:

    Also, my yard always looks so lush in pics with your kid. Why is that?

    • Don’t think I didn’t spend a little while clicking over there. I would have linked if they’d had a page about the jam.

      New money-making scheme: rent the Bean out to real estate companies for lawn photos.

  4. How. Cute. can one child be? I die over the curls!

  5. M always freaks out that my phone is too close to his head. but i do not know how to read a book while nursing mr squirms.

  6. All looks idyllic. Thanks for the post. It always a pleasure to read one from you. Congratulations to all on the peeing on the potty. It is a momentous occasion to be sure. And how could I not realize that there are more books by Donald Crews?! Must find them.

  7. The cuteness is strong in that one.

    Thank you for wanting to stab your former self regarding the mismatch between offering of food and trying of said food. I was POWERFULLY envious of you over the Bean’s early open-mindedness, and while of course I did not wish your current chagrin upon you, it does make me feel a little bit better about myself as a parent to know that it isn’t just my kid who refuses to try most foods. Now I’m envying you the Bean’s self-initiated pee in the potty. I think Eggbert was three before she peed in the potty voluntarily.

    Regarding Sugar’s photos. Wow!

    Best of luck with the ongoing weaning, and congrats on your successes to date.

  8. People read and play on ipads while their babies nurse? Mine bites and pinches me if I don’t entertain her, and sometimes even if I do. I spend ever morning nursing session pointing her index finger at various part of my face and saying, “That’s Mummy’s eyebrow!” Juju knows a lot of body parts. I die to hear her say “bye-beeeow.” And “boob.” That one we say in public WAY too often.

    Pickiness happens. Juju’s is so random these days. She’ll eat a food with gusto one day and toss it to the cats the next. I can’t find a pattern. And I suspect the pickiness will only get worse. Tips?

  9. Such an adorable kid! I especially like the shot of him in the sink.
    I’m with you on wondering how we ever get to the “15 tries” of a food if certain items never make it past my son’s lips, despite being placed repeatedly on his plate.
    Glad to hear the nursing thing seems like less of a drag lately.
    The visit sounds devine. I’m a vegetarian and my mouth started watering at the mention of country ham biscuits.

  10. The Bean’s education has begun in earnest, I see, with a true poring over of the pages. Ah yes, we like Alison Bechdel.

    Sugar’s project looks very cool, so it does.

    I send you all salutations and much encouragement. YOU’RE DOING FINE, OKLAHOMA!
    (Or New York, as fitting.)

  11. I wish I could comment on all the charming things in this update, and the lovely pictures of your amazingly beautiful son, but I’ve got to stare adoringly at my nursing child. Studies have shown (best phrase EVAH!) that the more adoringly you gaze, the less chance your child will be a picky eater later on. I stared very adoringly at Bun Bun, but not adoringly enough, clearly, so I’ve VOWED to stare even more adoringly at Bunlet. I’m going to pretend he’s Jesus Christ, and have even made him a little crown of thorns.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s