Parenting H

Category: breastfeeding

“Can you please give the nipple some space, M love?” my sister asks her toddler. 

She is carrying him, and they are walking a handful of steps behind me and H on the side of the road. Our own mother is walking between us.

“Like some milk!” H shouts.

“It doesn’t take much, does it?” our mother laughs.

No, it really doesn’t take much at all.

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“Milk on the big couch!” he says, and so we are on the big couch, his body twisting away while still attached to mine, his free arm like a windmill. When he is done with milk, he crawls down.

“I’ll be right back! Milk stay right here,” he says, patting the couch.

I pull my nursing shirt down.

“Open milk!” he orders. “Just be running around.”

He runs off down the hallway.

“Milk, milk,” he says when he returns, lifting my legs so that he can travel between the couch and the coffee table.

“Would you like some more milk?” I ask.

“No!” he says, grinning at me from the side chair.

I wonder if he realizes that I am not the milk, even though the milk comes from me. It amuses me to consider that perhaps he does not, and I smile.

I have been tandem nursing lately. So far, I have breastfed, at H’s request, my Kindle, his toothbrush, a white crayon, a parking garage ticket, Tumble Bumble, my keys, an orange castanet, a Stief lovey, the skeleton of his lacing sheep, a stuffed zebra, the male catkins from a pine tree, and a dime.

“All done. H,” H says, when he has deemed his nursing mate has had enough.

Before moving over to that side, he repeats what I have told him so many times. “Nice you,” he says.

“Yes. It’s so nice of you to share your milk, sweet baby. I agree.”

Tears welled up in my eyes by the end of this heartbreaking and beautiful spoken word piece on breastfeeding.

I was studying H’s hands while nursing him to sleep tonight. He has rubber band wrists, dimpled knuckles, and little hammocks hanging on the palm side of his fingers from the knuckles to the first joints. His hands are small and deliciously plump.

I thought about my impressions of his hands when he was first born. His pinkie fingernails were so small that they could barely be seen. They were, of course, visible, but they were very, very small. His thumbs also seemed impossibly small. Holding his hand felt like holding something fragile and delicate.

As I was studying H’s hands tonight, I marveled at how huge his little hands have become. And that it’s all because we nurse. Amazing.