Blue Baby

“He was scared when he met me.”

T and I were cuddled in his bed, preparing to read the wonderful Eric Carle book “Friends”. He was holding his blue baby. It was a present from me on his very first Christmas. It was the first stuffed toy to go in his crib. He has slept with it on and off since he was about 9 months old (I know, I know, nothing is supposed to be with babes until they are one). We are currently very much in an “on” phase.

He rather makes a meal of arranging the baby in his peanut home with both little hands sticking out just so. Anything to stretch the bedtime routine out for another 90 seconds. Then he tucks bear shirt around the baby. Bear shirt is his number one comfort, the item he simply cannot sleep without. It’s a red t-shirt I got in the third grade from my elementary school. Decades ago I put it on a big stuffed panda that was my mother’s when she was a girl. The panda was among the menagerie of stuffed animals placed on T’s first big boy bed. T slipped off the shirt and cuddles it every night.

Earlier today he watched me wrap another blue baby purchased for the newest baby in our life, a little boy who was born almost two weeks ago. “Stop!” he cried as I started to apply the first piece of tape. He thundered up the stairs and back down a moment later, blue baby in hand. He introduced the two babies to each other and gently lowered his down to the new one for a sweet little kiss. Then he told me I could continue wrapping.


“He was scared when he met me.” T told me tonight.

“Really?” I replied, putting the book down and cuddling closer. “How did you make him not scared?”

He draped bear shirt over the baby. “I showed him bear shirt. And then he wasn’t afraid.”

“He loves you.”

“Yes. He sucks on my finger. That’s where he gets the milk.”

My eyes filled up with tears.

The near month long radio silence here on the blog was because life sort of took over. Nothing dramatic happened. There was just a shit-ton going on at the end of the semester. I had a paper due, a 25 pager that stretched to 27 plus endnotes plus a bibliography: The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: History, Attitudes, and Implementation in the United States. Just did my final presentation yesterday, emailed the paper in Tuesday night.

Breastfeeding has been on my mind for the last month. How to advocate for increased breastfeeding rates while respecting the right of all women to choose how to feed their babies. Educating does not equal pressuring. If a woman wants to formula feed she should be provided the support to do so. But many women who do want to nurse struggle. The institutional and societal road blocks that prevent women from nursing successfully while telling those same women that “breast is best” must be addressed. The fact that cultural knowledge of breastfeeding has eroded almost completely in our society must change. I knew nothing about nursing when T was born. It was overwhelming and terrifying and it certainly didn’t feel natural.

But T and C will have some cultural knowledge of breastfeeding. They know it is how I fed them. C might actually remember nursing as he gets older. They are surrounded by women in our social circle who casually breastfeed as we hang out. They know some boobs make milk. I’m hoping they remember it and are comfortable with it even after they discover boobs are delightful for other reasons.

So yes. Breastfeeding has been on my mind. And watching my little man mother his doll and explain how he provides milk for his baby? Well, damn. It made me perfectly happy.


Can you see the constellation of freckles scattered under his eye and reaching across his face? They are my current favorite part of him. I can’t resist covering them in kisses every time they catch my eye.

field trip

Best part of a field trip? For a 4 year old it is always the bus ride.



Bathtime Gets Heavy

T was arranging toys in a line on the edge of the bathtub when he looked up at me. “I tell people that you and Dad hit me and poke me in the eye.”

Me, “What?”


Yup. That is what I thought he said. But I was stalling for time.

After a very long pause in which I attempted to collect my thoughts…..”Do Dad or I ever hit you or poke you in the eye?” (Poke him in the eye??? Who are we? The Three Stooges?”)


“Here’s the deal. You cannot say stuff like that. Do you know why? Someone could hear you and they could think you were serious and they would be really worried that we were hurting you. They might call the police. And the police want to help. So the police would come over. They might believe your story. And if they thought Daddy and I were hurting you they would take you away so you could be somewhere they thought was safe.”

He was listening so carefully. I saw he was scared and I felt like I fucked up. Shit. I did not want to scare him. But how do I explain this? How do I let him know how grave this topic is without terrifying him?

“I won’t say it again.”

“Baby. There are things we can joke about and things we can’t joke about. You being hit is serious. It isn’t funny. We can’t make up stories about it. And listen. Police are the good guys. You need to go to them for help. But they trust us to be honest. If we tell them stories that aren’t true they will probably believe us and try to help us. Here’s the deal. If someone is hurting you you do need to speak up. And we will get you help. But you can never ever make up stories about being hit.”

Jesus christ. Deep, relaxing breaths. I am sorry he got scared. I do not want to threaten my child. He was testing limits, seeing what would happen when he made up a story. But this kind of make believe can backfire badly. Ugh. Some days I really feel like I am not equipped to deal with this job, this responsibility of raising another human. My blood pressure was through the roof. I needed a laugh or a stiff drink. Of course he provided me with the former just moments later.

He laid in my lap wrapped in his towel as I brushed his teeth. Yes, I insist on brushing them before his turn. He is not as thorough as I would like. His towel fell open and like every male in the universe his hand went right for his junk. “I want to make babies.”

“What?” (Again, I was stalling for time.)

“I want to make babies!”

“Um…….with whom?”

“With the little things in the big thing below my penis!”

Oh. Several weeks ago he was asking about making babies and the hows and whys and all that jazz. I told him that someday he will make sperm in his testicals that could combine with an egg in the belly of a woman to make a baby. It was his consolation prize after I had to break it to him that he couldn’t get pregnant.

“Sweet boy. You cannot make babies with those little things yet because you don’t have any little things. And you couldn’t support a baby right now. Babies are expensive. Where would you get the money? I want you to have babies some day if that is what you want. But not for a while. Your body isn’t mature yet.”

“But Mommy!” he wailed “I’m sure! I’m sure!”

I had to bury my face in his hair so he wouldn’t see me choking back the laughter. Of course he didn’t understand what mature meant. He is only four. But is my pronunciation that bad? Does it really sound like “I’m sure” when I say it? Maybe C’s speech therapist needs to work with me….

Also, parenthood should be renamed “Emotional Whiplash”.

sleepy boy

This sweet kid. He challenges me every day. Then he makes me laugh.

weird dad

So does his crazy Dad. Back off, ladies. He is all mine.

no eyes C

This little monkey was aimlessly wandering around the kitchen. I was hastily collecting stuff so we could head out the door and finally looked over at him. I did pull the hat off of his eyes after I took the picture. Because, you know, I care.