It seems I have created a monster.
A boob monster.
My son is 15 months old, and much to my surprise we are still breastfeeding. And still loving it. Except one of us is loving it a little too much it seems.
Since I work during the day, we only do bedtime and morning feeds. It's a comfort for sure, and such a nice way for us to still bond. If I weren't breastfeeding him, I don't think he would sit still long enough for me to run my fingers through his fine blonde hair and gaze down into his twinkling blue eyes. So I enjoy it — I really do.
What I don't enjoy, however, is being attacked by a very quick and agile little boob shark every time I get dressed. Or every time I bend over and he sees down my shirt. Instantly, his eyes light up, and he starts to mutter "booo. boooo. boooo." (I don't know why he can't just say BOOB. He has all the letters and sounds. C'mon kid. Get it together!) I'm constantly having to pull up my shirt, and distract him with something else, "Hey, look! Car keys! Birds! Cookies!" And sometimes this distraction works, but not for long. I've resorted to wrapping myself in my thick bathrobe 90% of the time — it's my kevlar boob shield.
Every time I pick him up, I get an instant boob massage. His hand, moving at lightning speed, reaches into my bra. He gives old lefty a few squeezes and then finds the nipple.
Bleep bleep bleep.
"Stop it child!"
Bleep bleep bleep.
In particularly determined situations, he pulls down my bra, and lurches towards my breast. The second his mouth hits anything, he starts suckling like one of those algae fish in an aquarium.
"Do I not feed you enough solid food? Are you hungry? Do you want more cookies?"
*Nutrition goes out the window when a parent is trying to bribe their child. I'm learning this early on...
And then I turn into the soup nazi,
"No Boob For You!"
Is this normal? Have you dealt with a Boob Monster before? Is there a 12-step program you can refer us to? Because right now all 12 of our steps involve cookies...
TEN WAYS TO TELL YOU'RE A PARENT
(Because I'm assuming a lot of you were wondering this very question, "Am I? Am I really a parent?)
10) You've spat on your finger to wipe food / dirt / poo off of your child's face.
9) You've had saliva, urine, and feces sprayed / mashed / smeared on you at some point or another.
8) At any moment, you could cry. You never know when, but it could happen. Like. Right. Now. "They're so beautiful."
7) At any moment, you could rage. Like. Right. Now.
6) In your WORK bag, you find the strangest shit: soother, crushed juice box, half a crayon, lid to something, doll, mini truck, sandwich crust, rocks from the garden...
5) You see danger around every corner. And if it's a sharp corner — you pad it.
4) You do shit you never thought you'd do, and think "I'm sorry for judging you other parent that I judged that one time..." (and let's be honest, it was more than just one time). You now have that kid.
3) You have 1,756 photos on your phone and 1,752 of them are of your child / children (2 are of your dog, and 2 you accidentally took of your own face because your camera was facing the wrong way on your phone when you were trying to photograph your child.)
2) Your dog (aka your first baby) is terribly neglected: needs a haircut, probably has fleas, and only gets fed if you remember...
1) And the number one way you can tell that you're a parent? Your heart always aches with a love so heavy that you finally understand why parents do the crazy shit they do for their children.
I love names. Names. Names. Names. Names. Names.
I've been obsessed with names my whole life. When I was little, I gave names to the bunnies in my wallpaper border. In University, I wrote a whole essay about the importance and power of names. I've even named my reproductive organs: Eggnes, Eggelica, and Carrie — my uterus.
See, I'm obsessed.
I also have an ongoing list of names on my phone, and like to practice pairing them up with my son Cole's name:
"Cole and Raya"
"Cole and Lily"
"Cole and Claire"
As you can see, I'm convinced that our next baby will be a girl. I've had a few serious conversations with Eggnes and Eggelica and they're on board with this plan. But, if they decide to throw me a curve ball (or curve egg? sorta?....no?) well that's okay too because I have a long list of boy names to choose from as well:
"Cole and Dylan"
"Cole and Cohen"
"Cole and Myles"
I personally like all of these names, but the last name on my boy list is my new favourite and it might make the hair on one of my friend's neck stand up. Because you see...that is her name. I mean, that is her "If we decide to have babies, and if it happens to be a boy" name. It's always been an un-touchable name to me...until recently.
Because recently, I got thinking: How does name ownership work? Is it like calling shotgun? Whoever says it first, gets it? Is there an expiry date on the name claim? How many names can you claim at once? Do you have the right to be mad if a friend or family member "takes" one of your names?
Ultimately, what are the rules and regulations in this competitive and often vicious sport of baby naming?
People are SERIOUS about their names. (See? I'm even using language that implies ownership "their names." Sigh.)
But to a certain extent, I get it. I really do.
Cole had always been "our boy name." For eight years before we had him, we knew if we had a boy that we'd name him Cole. If one of my friends or family members used the name before us, I would have been heartbroken. I would have had no choice but to re-name their child. "I'm sorry, but I will not call your son by his birth name. I will only refer to him as Their Flesh Child (while pointing to you)."
Good luck finding that name on a toothbrush or pencil case at the dollar store, Ha! In yo' face Their Flesh Child.
But do you see where I'm going with all of this? And now I feel like such a hypocrite, because I really like my friend's future if-we-have-a-baby name!
Of course if we do have a boy again, I would talk to her about this name issue. If it was going to be a real problem for her, I'd choose another name. But what if she said "No, that's my name." and then never had kids? Or had kids, but never had a boy? That amazing name would be lost in the land of could-have-been-names, and would ultimately end up as some shih tzu's moniker, because that's where all good names go to die.
"Meet my dog, Charlotte."
Fuck. Scratch that one off the list.
I guess when it comes down to it folks, I have a lot of questions and few answers, but I do know this for sure...
3 WAYS TO REALLY CLAIM A NAME:
1) Pee on it
2) Lick it
3) Tattoo it to your forehead
Now spill it — what are your thoughts on name claiming? Any day-time-soap-opera-ish stories you'd like to share surrounding this issue?