Lately, Ronin has been intermittently fussy for large blocks of time and whenever she revs up for a few-hour bout of Snit, we run through the standard checklist: Clean diaper? (Check.) Fed? (Check.) In pain? (No.) Fed some more? (Check.) Bug up her butt? (QUITE POSSIBLY.) After an hour or two of this, both boobs are usually fully drained yet she still desperately roots around, bobbing her head against my chest like a woodpecker and tearing into her own fist with those fearsome gums of hers. At last I’ll put her back on the boob and she’ll typically sit there not being productive and falling asleep. It can be rather annoying. I mean, KID I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO! Like, uh, surf the web and stuff. The baby book we have says that unusual fussiness (of course, is this unusual or usual for a baby?) may be a sign of a “developmental milestone.” Can her sudden increase in lung capacity and yelling volume level be considered a milestone?
[“Tummy Time,” which happens about three seconds before “Meltdown.”]
We finally ran into one of our apartment neighbors the other afternoon; Zack was very surprised to see a baby. “I didn’t know you had a … baby!” his eyes popped out of his head. Joshua explained that we hadn’t had her for very long actually, she was only four weeks old. Of course, Zack didn’t know about her because he lives on the opposite side of the building from our apartment. We have yet to meet any of the folks from our side; the shock might just make their ears pop off their heads. Then our recent little developmental milestone wouldn’t be a problem.
[Ronin succumbs to the power of the Moby. Awesome hat by Vida!]
[Ronin packed in the car seat and ready for action.]
Those soft-lighted, fuzzy images you all see in magazines of the breastfeeding couple, mother and child, bliss and contentment, are somewhat exaggerated. Or at least heavily Photoshopped. Breastfeeding is a lot more, shall we say “dynamic” in my experience, limited though it may be. Typically it all starts with a starving-to-death baby who fears for her very survival and wants to be sure the neighborhood is aware of her trauma WAH WAH WAH!!! By the time I get my shirt taken apart, she is fully pissed off and flailing wildly. She of course shuts up once the boob is latched but the look in her eye and sound of her fierce breathing assures you that she is Still. So. Furious. Of course, in her haste, she manages to swallow the entire roomful of air, and the sound of the air bouncing back and forth from her toes to her gulping throat gives me the willies. Therefore, we burp. Naturally, she flips her shit at being taken off the boob prematurely even though she is clearly about to choke, and dare I say that burping Ronin every 30 seconds is seriously cramping my cosmopolitan on-the-go sort of lifestyle here (cough, ahem). And when that burp finally does come out, it is a startling thing. Such a large burp for such a small being. In the end, both of us are covered in breastmilk, at least two burpcloths are soaked through with either milk or spit-up (another reason for the frequent burping–the dreaded spit-up), I’m in desperate need of a double martini with a jar of olives on the side, and she’s exhausted herself enough to pass out for a short rejuvenating nap (on happier occasions).
[Another gratuitous cute baby picture; we have a number of these actually.]
In other breastfeeding news, I am proud to say that despite the drama surrounding the event, I managed to feed Ronin in public for the first time the other day (well, outside in a park, standing, in the rain, in the Moby wrap). Joshua talked me into trying it, oh, and I suppose the desperately fussing and struggling baby strapped to my chest was similarly convincing. I wouldn’t necessarily say this qualifies me for Moby Ninja status, but it’s a fine start.
[I have a lot of work to do on my stealthy ninja gaze.]