gorilla mama: pickled shorts from no time to blog land

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.

0 Comments on “gorilla mama: pickled shorts from no time to blog land

  1. I like the Boynton book “Horns and Toes and In Between” cause it gives you an excuse to touch all the sweet little baby body parts (wow does that sound creepy…) but good for learning too!

    And, I’ve also heard horror stories about people being adverse to public breastfeeding in the U.S., but I’m quite open and comfortable about it and never got one comment.

  2. i love these posts about the baby/parenting. i eat them up.

  3. Your everyone asks about “does the baby sleeps through the night” comment made me laugh! I totally agree it is a conspiracy – everyone asks that and then you say “well, no” and then the person nods “knowingly.” What do you know? And what have you forgotten? What does sleep through the night even mean?

    I say conspiracy because if you ask people not “does your baby sleep through the night” but what is your baby’s sleep like – you get a million different answers that change from day to day but most involve some waking, eating, changing, crying and snuggling over a 12 hour period and most answers change depending on age, teething, and where the baby is sleeping. And then one has to listen to the conspiracy that there is some ideal sleep that the baby/toddler/teenager will some day do or maybe the baby or the parents are degenerates and will never accomplish this task.

    You are so on target – all that matters is that you (and Beard and Pickles) are getting rested. Co-sleeping is lovely and so is side lying nursing!

  4. Lol. I read your last paragraph about breastfeeding to my mother-in-law and she busted up laughing for a good 2 minutes. Thank you for that!

  5. The men saying guten appetit… love it. I sat with two friends with their boobs out breastfeeding in a cafe a couple of months ago. It just kind of made me feel like getting mine out, too.

  6. Finn: I’m glad. 🙂

    Elaine: I know, what does sleeping through the night even mean? And why should really long uninterrupted stretches of sleep be the be-all end-all? I read once that these long stretches of sleep are a kind of modern thing. Back in the day when we were living in caves and all, we slept for shorter periods spread out over more time. Made more sense what with all the things that might be hunting us. Interesting stuff.

    On co-sleeping… Recently at a La Leche League meeting a new (pregnant) mother to the group asked why we all co-slept. And almost everyone said the same thing, something along the lines of “well, there are all sorts of benefits but the main point is it is the way that I am capable of getting the most sleep.” Thought it was kind of funny really. I hear a lot of people defending co.sleeping because of all sorts of benefits to the child and whatnot, but when it comes down to it for me, I’m doing this for me, to make sure I get the most sleep I can and to avoid zombie-ness as much as possible.

    Dawn: Hee hee, glad I could spread some laughter around.

    Fraud Dietz: Hahahahahahaha. That would have been fucking hilarious.

  7. Meh. I live in the U.S. and never got harassed for nursing in public. I got approving smiles, “Lucky baby,” etc. I live in Pittsburgh, in the city. A couple of times we went to suburbia, and nursing in the middle of a mall I’d see a few people kind of flinch and look away, but nobody ever made an outright negative comment.

    I know just what you mean about adults looking huge when you’ve spent all day in the company of a baby!! I was struck by it over and over again.

  8. Pingback: Nobody Panic! We’re All Just Growing Up « F that S

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