Look who’s not so teeny anymore

[Fair readers, feel free to skip this Butter-centric post. It’s way too long by blogosphere standards. But most of you have known him since he was mistaken for stomach cancer, so I hereby present this half-year, drenched in melted Butter.]

Ah, Butter. You don’t get many posts, do you? Remind Mama to tell you about squeaky wheels, grease, and why most of your baby album is hurriedly printed from a blog written at midnight after I’m done detoxing from our family.

You’re quite a creature, ButterBug. Don’t let the lack of documentation fool you—you’ve quite captivated us. Part of that is the result of your hard work. You’ve always been quite smiley and try really hard to get attention by just beaming at anyone who’ll look. And you are amazingly successful at using smiles to get what you need, ButterNut.

And it’s a good thing, because oooooh, boy, you have a temper. I love it. You SCREAM at those who don’t do everything to your standards. You SCREAM at toys when they fall or hurt you or turn out not to have a nipple.

Sucking on things is your raison d’etre, ButterBean. You wake up with hickeys on your arms and wrists. I have hickeys on my shoulders and biceps. You have a callus on your left thumb and another on your left toe. Nothing passes by your mouth that you don’t try to suck.

And this week you started sucking mushy food of a spoon. You’ve been dying to do this for more than a month, but your Mama has pretty strong feelings about exclusively breastfeeding until six months. I tried to hold off on solid food by freezing milk and scraping it into Snoopy Breastmilk SnoCones. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!” you barked; “and now may I have ravioli?” No, sweetpea. How about an empty spoon? “Oooooooooh. Now may I have a burrito?” No, sweetbutt. Soft, boring stuff first.

But holding you off even when you clearly wanted food meant that your first food was amoxicillin. Heartbreaking. You had two ear infections in three weeks, and two rounds of antibiotics even with a Mama and Papa and doctor who all believe antibiotics are a last resort for ear infections.

We felt so terrible that you might think nasty pink bugglegum flavored crap is your future in food, we decided to give you avocado mashed with breastmilk a few weeks before you were six months.

“What the eff?” you cried. “This is what you guys eat?” Well, no. Mommy and Peanut don’t. But it’s very healthy and Daddy likes it. “Never feed me this again,” you sobbed. So we didn’t until the next day. And the following day. It was looking like we had another child who wouldn’t eat until he could feed himself and take bites with all 20 teeth.

Then you got sweet potato mashed with breastmilk. “This is more like it.” You would not let me feed you, but you wiped sweet potato near, in, and around your mouth, eyebrows, and ear. You were quite happy with yourself and the three calories you actually ingested.

And now you have banana mashed with breastmilk. THIS is what you were talking about. You let me feed you banana because you figured out that if you clamp down on the spoon and let me slide it slowly out, then quickly cork your little banana hole with your thumb, you get lots of goo in your belly. At least a teaspoon of solid foods each morning.

And thanks to you, Mama now knows what banana seeds look like. You taught me that, ButterBubba. I thought you somehow got under the rosemary bush and ate a bunch of ants. I knew banana is an herb. I didn’t know it has long spirochete seeds.

Look at how much more world there is now that I have you.

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Interview with Butter

Welcome, readers, to today’s feature interview: a discussion with the newest reason I can only write at naptime. Without further ado, I give you Butter.*

Me: Good morning, Butterbean.
B: Thththththeeee.
M: Really? Is that what you’re planning to do today?
B: Aaaaaaaaaaah. Glue.
M: Glue? Glue what?
B: Aaaahhhyyyyy noodle.
M: Glue noodles? That’s very crafty of you.
B: [smiles]
M: Where did you learn pasta arts?
B: Ggggggggerhard.
M: Gerhard Schroeder? Is that what he’s up to these days?
B: Aaaaaaaah. Thhhhhthhhtheeee.
M: I think it’s Angela Merkel, but a lot of world has passed me by lately.
B: Ghee.
M: That’s right, Butter. You happened.
B: Ghee.
M: Mmmm-hmmm. Clarified butter. Ghee.
B: Aaaaaaaah ghee.
M: Let’s not get too full of ourselves, here, B. You’re new.
B: Kkkkkkkkglue.
M: Right. Thanks for the course correct: onto projects. I had you scheduled for tummy time, music time, chewing stuff time, staring at shadows time, and napping, but if you want to glue, I can roll with that.
B: Ghee. Aaaaaaah ghee.
M: Yes, well, you’re cute, but let’s not go overboard. You’re a baby. Babies aren’t that interesting.
B: Aaaaaaaahhhhhyyyyyyy.
M: You are? Maybe.

*Posts such as this are why stay-at-home mom writers should not be given Internet access. I’ll probably delete it later, out of sheer embarrassment. But the fact that you read this far means at least that you’re as desperate for entertainment as I am.

Also? This is the actual conversation we had this morning, Butter and I. So now who’s a little desperate?
Oh, yeah. Still me.

Then and now

What I had forgotten, what I remember all too well, and what’s brand new….

I know, because we raise sling babies who are always close and usually sleep (in the daytime) on a parent, there will always be food on baby’s head or clothing. But I don’t remember Peanut being covered with as much  chocolate as Hazelnut has been.

I remember about feedings every two hours, but I had forgotten that means one hour between feeds. And that every-hour cluster feeds mean non-stop.

I’d forgotten how long the Netflix wait when there’s a newborn to peel…

I remembered how heartbreaking is the cry of a brand new baby, but never thought that this time I’d be willing to pee first and nurse second.

I’d forgotten how forgetful I get after meeting a new baby.

I remember how much help kellymom.com can be in the wee hours, but since I know now, after a firstborn with thrush and nipples with Raynaud’s, that ANY breastfeeding problem can be fixed with expert help, that I can logon in the morning and still be fine.

I remember being grateful for help, but I don’t remember bursting into tears so often about people’s generosity. I’ve cried several times over some sesame cashew noodles and homemade bread delivered last Sunday. After reading each email or getting a call of support, especially from those pressed for time and struggling i their own lives. I cried twice over surprise Zachary’s pizza that showed up courtesy of a lovely friend and family conspiracy. Countless times over seeing a clean sink and drying dishes each time my mom comes over. And frequently about the preschool cooperative’s plan to deliver a dinner every night for two weeks just because they have so many volunteers who want to help.

I recall feeling overwhelmed, but I didn’t know this time would be much calmer, much more fully present and in the cuddly moment. Maybe it’s the change in geography, wherein I’m home and surrounded by people and places I deeply love. I’m much less caught up in fear and loneliness and panicked “should” and “have to”s because I now know that everything changes, often daily, and today’s ratio of tummy time to music time to sling time will matter not one whit in four years as long as Hazelnut is loved and heard and warmed and fed.

Screaming, wakeful, gassy, pained babies do get to 13 weeks and do settle into life here eventually. I was too freaked out to know that the first time.

This time I just wonder if scared, angry, intelligent, head strong preschoolers settle eventually, too.

Eh. Probably.