I should explain at this point at that I’m handicapped by an uncle and a paediatrician who are both vociferous breastfeeding fans, and who have lost no chance to tell me that I should not give The Wee B anything but breast milk, otherwise I will have a sickly, ailing, cranky baby.
Any mother reading this post knows at this point just why I’m feeling so blue and bitter; all others may not be able to empathise, but sympathy will do just as well really.
So. The WB wakes. He has peed, his tummy is empty and he wants his food. He wants it right away and the lackadaisical handling of these idiot adults who take over 30 seconds to change him leads to a buildup of righteous anger in a tiny body, which finds expression in ear-splitting howls. You must understand, the new man in my life is the macho kind. He does not cry in front of people. What he does is throw extremely loud temper tantrums.
Anyway, back to feeding. After he is changed he is still howling of course, when Ma sneakily stuffs his mouth full of breast. Stumped mid-howl he abandons rage and settles down to playing around. For, of course, it wouldn’t do to start sucking right away, only wimpy, goody-goody babies do that. So he whips his head away, licks everything in reach, pretends there’s no milk available and in general makes a nuisance of himself. All this while anxious grandmothers and great-aunts wonder (to Ma’s indignation) if Ma is eating properly, perhaps the poor baby is not getting sufficient milk, and whether what Ma thinks is fooling around is actually a desperate search for nourishment.
Then he finally latches on and starts pulling in real earnest. When I say pull I also include chomping, sucking with the power of a mini
But what really gets my goat is when he finishes, after ninety minutes or more, stretches, smiles, pees and is instantly hungry once more. That treatment has been known to drive a strong girl like me to hysterical tears.
So you see, I’m doing my duty the best I can. But in the meantime, anybody coming to me asking me to sign any petitions championing breastfeeding will probably find themselves being chased with a hatchet.