Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lucky #7 (stream of consciousness)

L suddenly has seven teeth. This one looks so shiny white, its three little cutter bumps dotting the line of her gum. The other six, the old guys, the veterans, they've all turned grizzly gray. It's a side effect of the iron drops we've been giving her. On the bottle it says that it might make her teeth gray. And it says that we could scrub the gray off with a little baking soda. Oo-kay. I doubt they've done a lot of testing on the efficacy of manually scrubbing the toothbuds of 11-month-olds. (She's 11 months, now. 11 months on 11-11.) (M took her to the eye doctor recently for her goopy eye (separate story for another day). They asked her birth weight and he couldn't remember. He's an American boy. It should be easy to remember 7-11.)

You know how all babies smell like milk? My baby smells like grilled cheese. Smell of milk + smell of iron = smell of drippy cheese sizzling in the cast-iron skillet. We need some tomato soup in here, stat. To quote one of E's current favorite books, "the better to eat you with, my pretty!"

The iron, it's for anemia. She's a little anemic. I took this as a victory because breast-fed babies tend to be anemic. If I have to walk my life around shaped like this my infrastructure should be meaningfully contributing! Whenever E sees her sister nursing she watches. She talks about it. Her current favorite phrase is she eats from your nipples! And I always feel when I'm spending time with L that I have to remind E that I signed a non-competitive agreement. So I say things to her like, "and I used to feed you this way, too." But that E, she asks so many questions. So one day I had to tell her that she didn't last so long. (10 weeks. See why anemia is a victory?) So now when she sees L nursing E says loudly, L is eating from your nipples! And I used to eat from your nipples! [begin mournful tone] But I didn't like it.

So L has seven teeth and I'm going to presume that that means we've agreed, she and I, that she'll sleep through the night tonight. Because M is in West Virginia of all places. Anyone out there reading from West Virginia? I've never been but I am contemplating a solo retreat out in your direction in early '09, a temporary de-mommy-fication, perhaps involving one of your many spas or hot springs, some pay-per-view RomComs and room service wine. Any recommendations? Just a couple of days' escape from life so I can jump into this crazy life anew.

I took E to Sam's Club yesterday morning before our nature walk to buy, perhaps, our last ever purchase of supplemental formula, and of course hundreds of dollars' worth of toilet paper and paper towels and olive oil, etc. And while we were there E needed to use "the pot," and by the way, that's a disgusting bathroom in your clubhouse, Sam, but there was a woman in there trying to nurse her infant and E yelled out, Look, Mama! That baby is eating nipples!

(I would like to assure you, she knows the word "nursing." "Breastfeeding," too. She just chooses other options. She's also almost three and is testing the waters with the "poopyhead" jokes.)

I had a moment of weakness or desperation or temporary insanity at the beginning of the gauntlet (maybe all three are actually the same thing?) and I told E if she could be patient and well-behaved she could select a book before we got in line to pay. The choices that didn't make my stomach churn were slim and we settled on a Baby Einstein series that are housed in their own cardboard box. So somehow she got 12 books instead of one (hey, she's not dumb) but the set cost less than the one Disney Princesses book she was eyeing, and now I don't have Disney Princesses to read at bedtime.

E sleeps with books sometimes. I don't mean they're in her bed, I mean they're in her clutches. She lines up the animals in her left arm and squeezes her book in her right hand. They're her "special books" and she snuggles them through the night. I didn't even know E liked Little Red Riding Hood until she began quoting passages from it. It's one of her "special books" for school-day naps. She and the wolf snuggle up tight on her little cot.

Last night E snuggled her Baby Einstein box. So when I did my two minutes' lie-down with her before she fell asleep, I got repetitious stabs of cardboard-box-corner to the temple. It'll probably happen again tonight when I take her upstairs to bed. So it's really not to much to ask that L shoulder just a little burden and do some good sleeping. Pin It