I spend most of my day in close physical contact with Pickles: wearing her, holding her, laying next to her, nursing her. So when the Beard comes home, and I give him a hug, his head strikes me as being grotesquely huge. We are all grotesquely huge, us adults, in comparision to these little slips of people we call babies.
One day I read in a book that at three months babies can hold onto things. I gave Pickles a rattle and all of a sudden she was holding this rattle. It was the tiniest thing, the most normal thing in the world, but it was like someone had set off dragon fireworks. When the Beard came home from work I told him and we spent over a half hour giving her the rattle and watching her shake it with huge, euphoric eyes.
Two months ago I lit one of our cloth diapers on fire. Indirectly. See, there hadn’t been any more room on the drying rack, and so I had hung it over the back of the wood stove. Then the Beard came home and lit the wood stove, not noticing the diaper. This was followed by the burnt toast phenomenon. That is, us, smiffing the air and wondering what that strange smell was for whole minutes before realizing the obvious: one of my favorite cloth diapers for night time was on fire. Whoops. We cut off the burned bits and are still using it.
Today we went to visit one of my Baby Mama friends. Her baby is ten months old. She was fascinated by Baby Pickles and showed it by poking her directly in the right eye. Baby Pickles didn’t even flinch, just smiled back at her. Me, I get screams when I try to apply sunscreen. Don’t even ask about the bath situation. It’s still all drama.
After Pickles got poked in the eye we looked through some Sandra Boynton books and ate Bratwurst and mashed potatoes. Pickles fell asleep on the corner of the bed. “She can fall asleep on her own?!” my friend asked. She was excited and incredulous. “Sometimes,” I told her, “though usually only when she’s with the Beard. She’s only done it with me two or three times.” My friend was totally excited and happy for us. Sometimes I need other people’s perspective to realize how good we have it.
People always want to know how she’s sleeping. It’s one of the big four questions every stranger asks (age, gender, weight and/or name, sleep habits). “She sleeping through the night yet?” I don’t think many babies sleep through the night, so I don’t know why anyone bothers to ask this. She doesn’t sleep through the night, but our sleep is fantastic. Every couple of hours she wakes up to eat, shimmies onto my boob (usually with help), and within thirty seconds we’re both asleep again. I heart co-sleeping forever.
Only three people in Germany have ever commented on the fact of my breastfeeding Pickles brazenly in public. All three were men. All three said “Guten apetit” (enjoy your meal). After all the horror stories I’ve heard about nursing in public in America, I am (once again!) so thankful to be living here and not there. Shit, baby head covers more boob than most swimsuits, and no one on the bus would prefer a screaming baby to a visible boob. I mean, come on, boobs and silence! No one loses in that equation.