In Travel and Entertainment:
My brother was in town last week, so we got to go do all the touristy things that one does when people come to visit. We managed to check quite a few of the sites off his list, then he headed out on his own to explore sans stroller and naptime interruptions. Little Guy is completely ga-ga over his Unca Joe (maybe it was the fuzzy chin?!)... peek-a-boo just isn't as funny when Mommy does it!
While he was here we took the time to go into NYC -- we toured Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty (Little Guy broke the rules and ate lunch there... yup, I breastfed in a national park!!! Go me!), then took the PATH train into the city. We visited Ground Zero, then headed to Times Square for pizza at John's. YUM!!!
From Our Health Desk:
Little Guy had his 4 month well-baby check-up on the 16th. He's now 14 lbs, 2 oz and 26 in long! We got the go ahead to start him on solids, so the rice cereal is no longer contraband. But he seems to like it, illicit or not! He had his first bite of banana today -- he liked it so well he kept grabbing the spoon and stuffing it in his mouth with his other hand... here's hoping that the green stuff goes down as well!
He's also teething, which translates to "drooling". Non-stop. Buckets full. We've had to start "recycling" bibs to make it through the day! Fortunately by the time we get to the 6th, the 1st is generally dry enough to use again. I think we'll be doing some bib shopping this week, though. I'm terrified that we'll all drown if we ever run out!
Apparently we aren't giving him enough cereal and bananas.
And Now Sports:
Just in case there was any doubt, this picture should resolve any question about Little Guy's paternity. Note the same glazed over look as they watch Sports Center. If Little Guy would put down the wash cloth, you'd even be able to see the matching drool trail out of the right side of the mouth.
We went to our first Arena Football game on the 24th. Our good friend Tres (bottom left corner of the picture) is the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Brigade. BTW, Arena Football ROCKS!!! Holy crap, it moves fast, though!!!
In Other News:
~We took the controversial step and decided it was time to "Ferberize" Little Guy. It was hard the first night, but the second night it only took him 5 minutes to go to sleep all by himself! Now I just start singing our "night-night song" and he's ready to be tucked in. I know it's not the right method for everyone, but wow! did it work for us!
~Apparently green is the color for getting babies born. Two of our friends who were expecting either at the end of this month or the beginning of April had surprise arrivals on St. Patty's Day! Hooray, two new additions to the Baby Brigade! Won't be too long before Little Guy and the boys are a force to be reckoned with!
In Travel and Entertainment:
Having recently established my inherent lack of coolness, I was more than a little displeased to discover that I am also a wimp. A weenie, a baby, a chicken... thesaurus.com has a whole list of words that apply, but I'm sure you all get the picture. That being said, it is with my head hanging low, low, low in shame that I must announce that I will no longer be using this blog to rant about various persons (nameless, of course!) in the unrealistic event that said persons might find this blog, read afore mentioned rant(s), and turn what is left of my uncool, wimpy life into nothing more than a series of days filled with apologies, hand wringing, and wishing, wishing, wishing I had just Kept My Mouth (Keyboard) Shut! Strangers are still subject to unobjective ranting. The boy is still fair game as I am his mother and having pushed him through my vagina am consequently a lifetime member to the Get Out of Jail Guilt Free club. By the time he's old enough to read this, the technology will be so archaic he'll need a history major to help him figure out how to get to it. Which will be so NOT worth the effort. Sigh. Who knew this journey of self-exploration would uncover so many undesireable truths about myself?
We were very excited for dinner last night. Perfectly roasted slices of turkey breast in gravy, mashed potatoes with chives, sweet corn... mmmmm. The mashed potatoes were divine, the corn, perfection. We thought the turkey would be this:
What we got was this:
Ta-Da, faux-turkey! No individual slices of turkey breast in this package, no siree! This is what you get when you bake Grade Q-mushed-up-and-then-blended- to-make-sure-there-is-no-resemblance-whatsoever-in-consistency-to-meat "white turkey containing up to 23% of a solution of turkey broth, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, and flavoring". Turkey flavoring, I'm sure. The gelatinous goo oozing across the *turkey* is the gravy. Yum and yum. Next time we'll shoot our own bird to make sure it's actually meat!
Shhhhhh! Don't tell the pediatrician, but we did a test run with the cereal today... Little Guy was just so damn cute sitting there smacking his lips that I couldn't resist! I carefully mixed up a tablespoon of the cereal with some breastmilk from the fridge, then tipped the tiniest bit from the spoon into his mouth. He made the worst face, then smacked it right down. Cheering ensued (followed closely by crying because the cheering scared him!), then another bite and another and another. Oh, yeah, my baby boy is ready for solids!!! I got him all cleaned up and took the tray, bowl and spoon to the kitchen. And popped the spoon into my mouth. Joey was wrong. Breastmilk doesn't taste like cantaloupe.
I recently read the most beautiful description of nursing. The tenderness with which this mother describes this moment with her child brought tears to my eyes. Tears of emptiness; tears of wanting. Tears unable to quell the rawness of my heart crying out "That! I want that!”
I feel disengaged, disembodied as I hold my son to my breast and watch him suckle for nourishment. This isn't how I thought I'd feel -- as my body changed to accommodate his changing, growing body inside me, I often imagined tender moments of mother and child. The bonding felt so real; I could hardly wait to experience it firsthand. The first time I brought him to my breast I was literally shaking; quivering in anticipation. His lips found sustenance and I waited for the glow to surround me. I gazed down at his tiny head, waiting for the wonderment, the fullness.
"Why?” The question winged through my head like a trapped bird. "What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me?”
Days pass, weeks pass. Sleepless nights blur with whirlwind days of growing together, each of us learning the steps in this mother-child dance. We play together, laugh together, cry together, compelled by our need for each other. I thrill with his every accomplishment -- the amazement on his face as he finds his fingers, his delight when he first tastes his toes. I giggle when he reaches out to explore my face with his tiny fingers, my heart aching with joy. My love for him so immense, so overwhelming that at times I feel as if it might suffocate me. Caring for him, nurturing him, watching him sleep; my daily delight is him. Yet deep, deep inside there is still an echo, a void.
Tonight as I sit in his room feeding him before we go to bed, the words of that other mother flit through my head and my heart again cries “That! I want that!” I mentally plug my ears, resigning myself to the belief that I will never have That.
His suckling slows, he drifts off to sleep. Tiny tummy full, he sighs in contentment and turns his face away from my breast. His breath brushes across my arm and in that instant my longing explodes into a million pieces. I am struck with the blinding reality that this is what I’ve been longing for. The joy I crave is not in the doing, it is in the being. In the sight, the sound, the touch, the smell. In the rushing way my senses are filled each time we just are.
He sighs again, tiny lips still pursed in a perfect kiss. An invitation, I think, one that I accept with a fullness, a contentment, a peace unlike anything I’ve ever imagined. I kiss his lips, whisper "Sweet dreams" and his lips curl up into a smile. I tuck him into his bed and head off to mine. As I drift off to sleep I feel my lips curl into a smile mirroring his.
Softly my heart whispers “This.”
Senior citizens of the nation, you've been lied to. Your social security is not dwindling away because you are having to pay for my child's pediatrician visits. No, we are taking care of that all by ourselves. So you really don't have a vested interest, and therefore no say, in how I care for him. If you see me treating him in a manner that you think is unacceptable, call the proper authorities. If the trained professionals deem my mothering skills unacceptable, they have the power and the resources to solve the problem. You don't.
I took Little Guy out for a walk this afternoon since it's supposed to be the last beautiful day for a while. The sun was shining. The wind was merely a breeze. Not a snowflake to be seen. He was adorable in his little green Roo (of Kanga & Roo fame) fleece coat and pants. He had socks on. And a hood. I even took the time to wrap his blanket around him once I got him strapped into his stroller. See for yourself:
We were strolling along, enjoying the chance to get out of the house, checking out the brickwork or whatever the heck it is he stares at when he's in the stroller. Just taking in the day, just taking a walk. Coming towards us a little ways down the sidewalk was a grandfatherly-looking gentleman walking his little lap dog. I'm thinking, "What a cute dog. Won't it be fun when Little Guy is big enough to take joy in all of God's creatures?" (Okay, so it was probably something more along the lines of "If we get Little Guy a dog, it better be bigger than that!") Little Guy was gnawing on his hand. Grandfather and lap dog approach. We smile cordially at each other. He says "Don't you think his hands are cold?" From 6 feet away, without so much as a "cootchie-coo" or a cluck on the chin, he has determined that my son's fingers are going to momentarily fall off due to severe frostbite. I stammered something, adding to his already fully formed opinion that I was a bad mother for taking my child out into such dreadful, near blizzard weather in little more than his birthday suit. He nodded, clucking his tongue disdainfully, and continued on his way. We continued on ours as well, walk ruined. Jackass.