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Got milk? Um, yes. I do.

On Tuesday morning I departed our house and headed off for my first business trip since giving birth to my son. I was, to put it mildly, a nervous wreck.  I was giving instructions left and right about what I wanted at my memorial service-I have the readings and music and location selected (just in case, I kept saying, morbidly). Prior to having a baby, I could have flown myself to Seattle and back in a radio flyer with one crooked wheel and not broken a sweat. Flying has never freaked me out. But on Tuesday as I sat in my seat waiting for take off, I found myself praying and talking to my son. Things just change when you are a mother. You don’t leave your house only accountable to yourself or your job. You leave your house and behind you there is a whole life, an entire human individual who counts on you and you better make damn sure you are coming back. And soon. For your sake as much as his. If you are me, you better make damn sure you are coming back with some breastmilk because my kid knows how to eat (he gets this from his father-the human garbage disposal). Let’s just say traveling with breastmilk is an interesting experience. You get to tell total strangers that you are, in fact, carrying breastmilk in your bag. You get to take it out of your bag and put it in a bin and the people behind you are looking away, probably thinking, oh how HIGHLY PERSONAL. And let’s just be frank, the TSA folks are not known for their ability to make a new mom, let alone one who is nursing, comfortable. But, I made it. And I’m in one piece and, more importantly, so is Boozo. The Beast? He’s in one piece, too, and he’s a better father having spent a few days on his own. He perfectly orchestrated Boozo’s routine each evening and morning and they seem to have formed a tighter bond. When I arrived home, bleary eyed from the red eye, I found Boozo in The Beast’s arms having just woken up. He was as snuggly as he always is in the morning. He reached for me, held my face in his hands and buried his perfect little round baby face in my neck. It was as if he was saying, Welcome back, Mama.Maybe one day I will laugh with him about how much of an effort I made to pump and carry breastmilk with me across the country both ways. Maybe I won’t. I can’t decide. Will it be one of those admissions that seems funny to me but makes him feel guilty? Will it be right to tell him about the tiny sacrifices and extra efforts I now go to because I want to do right by him? I sort of think I’ll keep it to myself.


Don’t say nothin bad about my baby

I’ll be honest. I am quite sensitive about what anyone says about my baby. I don’t even question if this is normal, because I don’t care. One comment and I spring into Mama Bear mode. I could kill people in Mama Bear mode. I could take down men twice my size and weight in two seconds flat.  

 Here are some recent comments about my baby that pissed me off. I’m irrational. I know this. By the way, that is something they should teach you in pregnancy preparation courses. One day you will leave your house, probably in a lot of pain and you will go to a hospital. When you return home you will be a mother and you will become an irrational freak regarding anything related to your child. People, such as your husband or mother in law, will say things to you such as “relax” and you will want to kill them. Other people, such as idiot strangers in a restaurant, will say things about your baby such as, Oh, He is six months old? BIG BABY.   

 You will consider throwing your bellini in their face. 


 Today alone, since the Boozo clan DARED to venture out for brunch, here is what Boozo got…  


 Oh, He has a big head. (well, yes, ALL BABIES HAVE BIG HEADS JACKASS-IT’LL BE THAT WAY UNTIL HE’S IN LIKE SIXTH GRADE OR SOMETHING SO NEVER SAY ANOTHER WORD TO ME UNTIL THEN). Admission: Boozo does, in fact, have a big head. He also has ears that stick out slightly. Does this warrant public comment? No. The only person allowed to even remark about this is me, the person from whose womb he was extracted.

 Why isn’t he smiling? (let’s see, I can think of a few reasons, namely the face that HAVE YOU SEEN YOUR FACE LATELY? NO ONE IS SMILING)


Don’t mess with The Beast

The Beast, like most men, is a creature of habit. If every single day of The Beast’s life was the same he would be happy. When anything happens that throws a wrench into his routine, he gets cranky. Unfortunately, this makes parenting a challenge for all parties.  Here is an example of how The Beast remains committed to his routine, despite the various and literal shitstorms that center around having a five month old. When Boozo puked in my face/mouth/pants/shirt, etc. the other day and then pooped in my hand while I was changing him, I needed my “teammate” to assist me. The Beast was busy washing bottles in the kitchen and while I’m sure he heard my cries for HELP NOW GODDAMMIT he was ignoring them. He is good at that. This forces me  to ask for help more loudly and to convince The Beast that it is a semi emergency. While puke in my mouth and poop in my hand is not, per se, an emergency of epic proportions, it seems an emergency when you are in the thick of it. When The Beast arrived at my side on stated morning and I said, Could you please help me for a minute he said (don’t hate him for this-he is a simple man from Canada who likes to stick with his plans): I AM TRYING TO WORK THROUGH MY MORNING ROUTINE. No lie. Is there a way to respond to that appropriately as your child’s vomit drips from your face and you are holding a large turd in your left hand?

Notes from the pumping room

Modern inventions for the most part, don’t suck, save for one, the breast pump.  The breast pump was invented by someone, clearly not a woman, to convince women who are working that they somehow also have to pump enough times a day to provide solely breastmilk for their child when they are away from them.   The breast pump was invented by the person who decided it was NOT OKAY for the modern woman to carry her baby in a sling with her to work and to wear him all day while she slaved away at her computer or her telephone or in her field or wherever. Like most working moms who breastfeed, I spend a lot of time with my breast pump. I have come to get used to these 15 minute sessions whereby I lose all sense of intimacy and self, strip off my shirt, slap on my pumping bra (the hands free one with the holes for your nipples that allows you to do things like kick your cousin’s ass in scrabulous while pumping OR call a co worker upstairs who will inevitably ask, What is that noise in the background?) and eek out as much milk as I can for Boozo. I dutifully cart this milk home with me (on public transportation mind you) in a little cooler each evening, put it in the fridge and then portion it out in bottles each morning that I put in another little cooler, truck to daycare with Boozo and place in the fridge at daycare.  My life revolves around how much milk I can produce. I have to schedule meetings around pumping and say things like, I can’t meet at 10:30 b/c I have “something.”  If I happen to get more milk than usual, I am cheery and lovely all day. If I get less? I’m a heinous bitch who can’t produce and who has visions of formula somehow forcing her child to attend a state school.  If I run late for a pumping session b/c I’m in a meeting or on the phone one of my breasts inevitably balloons up larger than the other one and I look like a cy-boob. In short, my day revolves around my breast pump, around my milk supply, around feeding Boozo and around attempting to fit my working life into and around my pumping life. It’s a tall order, this working mother stuff. I try to make the pumping sessions at least a respite from the craziness for me. I catch up on email. Drink a cold glass of water, chew a fresh piece of gum and look forward to when I get home tonight and Boozo is fresh from a bath and wanting to nurse. Lately he reaches up to touch my face with his little warm hand. He pats my cheek. He is making sure of me. Maybe he is thanking me for the food he ate that day. He won’t ever know the lengths to which I went to get it for him but hopefully he’ll have some sense that the ends of the earth wouldn’t be too far. 

Puke? Poop? um, try to Love?

Boozo has had some sleeping issues. Well, the Beast and I have created some sleeping issues. Let’s put it that way b/c what five month old has issues that aren’t parentally constructed?  Because of said issues, lazy mama and lazy Beast have been pulling a crying Boozo into bed with them. This has worked, sort of. It hasn’t worked for Brother Dog who gets pushed off his usual spot at the end of the bed and onto the floor and… Somehow the child who can’t crawl and who exhibits no real interest in rolling manages to inch his way closer and closer to me each night until his head is lodged between my boobs (hey, what’s not to love)  and he has essentially pushed me to the far edge of the bed. One night I almost fell off onto our humidifier. Another night both my right leg and arm fell so hard asleep I woke up in a panic that I was paralyzed. But Monday night/early Tuesday morning it was clear to me that the co-sleeping had to stop.   The Beast and Brother Dog woke up at 5:30 for their usual walk. Boozo woke to nurse. I fed him and he was settling into a bit of sleep when he started to cough. Sometimes Boozo activates a very sensitive gag reflex. Often he does. I was lying down nose to nose with Mr. Boozo when I heard the gag reflex. It was too late for me to move. Boozo projectiled his morning feed into his mama’s face.   My own breastmilk actually went into my mouth, regurgitated from my darling’s own tum tum. It went in my eye. Some of it was in my ear. My tshirt was soaked and when I stood up, I found that somehow the projectile had made its way to my pj bottoms. This is one talented puker. He has range.  So I picked him up (he was unphased) and in a haze of tiredness just held him and walked around a bit trying to determine what to do when I felt the bum rumble. Are you kidding me, kid?  I changed him and was reaching for one last wipe when he pooped. In. My. Hand.  I had no words. I. Lost. Speech. How did I, a publishing professional with a semi-fabulous wardrobe, dozens of great friends, a degree from a reputable college, author of a humor book who has appeared on Good Morning America, daughter of fairly cool parents, talented knitter and quilter and generally affable person end up with vomit in my mouth and my underwear and a big turd in my hand BEFORE I have even slurped one ounce of morning coffee? As I attempted to diaper my son one handed I looked at his darling little perfect circle face and the smile that spread across it was the greatest one I’ve seen to date.  

Eat. Poop. Love.

img_0034.jpg Meet Boozo, our nickname for our son born September 16, 2007. Here he is with his dad who will henceforth be known as Sexy Beast or “The Beast” because that is his favorite movie.     Add one little brown dog named Baxter, also called Brother and you have my family. Oh, add me, of course (more on that later). This blog will detail our adventures and my experiences as a working mom and wife. I’ll probably complain about The Beast a bunch, as I’m apt to do since I’m no sugarcoater. But I love him. Very much. And he does the dishes, cleans the kitchen, irons, will clean his yellow pee stains off the toilet seat (if asked) and he’s a really great dad. Remember that when I’m blabbering away.  I’m calling this Eat. Poop. Love– thieving from a popular book (which I hated, by the way) because I want to and because I’ve determined that motherhood, for the most part, runs in circles. Boozo eats. He poops. He loves and I love and love comes first last always because, as Patti Griffin says: When the last bird falls, when the silence calls, someone will say what’s been said before, it’s only love we’re looking for.   

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