before and after
(before is the bottom one!)
It’s a damned mess most of the time.
Frizzy, fly away, multiple lengths of strands going this way and that.
Sometimes in the morning she has this mass on the back that is so teased it looks like she’s headed to an 80’s revival playdate.
Her preferred style? Messy, and in her face.
About a year ago, SHE decided.
“No more munitos.”
Munitos are the Cuban slang for rubber bands, or tie backs, or just about any hair clippie or accessory. Doesn’t matter, none of those things would be on her head or in her hair, thank you very much.
And we battled at first.
Things got ugly, tears were shed, mommy and daughter both had tantrums over this issue.
A few times, yes.
“I’ll give you ______________, if you wear a ponytail.”
No. Not anymore.
Even when we are having a quiet moment and I do that thing where I play with her hair and gently tuck some strands behind her ears, she pulls it back out and thrusts it aggressively in her face.
Yes, I’ve given a few.
“Zoey, you have the most beautiful face but I cannot see it with your hair in your face.”
“Zoey, all the other girls wear munitos in their hair.”
Answer: “yes, and I do not.”
“Zoey, if you would wear munitos your hair would not be so tangled all the time and it wouldn’t hurt when I brush it.”
So tonight when going through my photos, and editing a few, I noticed something funny.
I love her messy hair. I’ve taken dozens of photos of it, backlit and glorious.
I thought I wanted her to put it in little sweet pigtails (and I do still!), but that wouldn’t be the truth of her.
And turns out her messy is my beautiful afterall.
Can I start this post with a pun? .
How about “I suck at breastfeeding.”
Please don’t refer (or report) me to La Leche League. It does no good.
I’m on my second baby now, and second month of it. Mostly her luscious, wonderful, nutrient and antibody-filled elixir is delivered from a bottle.
I can hear the tsk, tsks of those judgey moms who seem to have been born to breastfeed.
Sometimes I’m actually pumping while bottle feeding her and it seems like some kind of strange Rube Goldberg contraption.
Why pump when I could simply do what nature intended and offer up my breast and share a quiet, warm and wonderful feeding session with my baby. We’d both relax and I’d stare at her while she coos and the stars in the sky would smile down on us, right?
I blame two things: our modern, too-busy lifestyle, and my uptight, control-freak personality.
When I was in the hospital with her, the nurses hardly ever found me without her attached to my breast.
The most powerful urge a new mother has is to keep her baby alive, which means keep it fed. (and don’t drop it.)
So the moment she would wake, I brought her to me and let her take as much of that colostrum as she could handle.
We did have those wonderful, quiet, dark nursing moments. But uh, you are only in the hospital for two days.
When I came home and was inevitably engorged to porn star proportions, the breastfeeding issues began.
I pumped for some relief and stored away all the extra in the freezer. Maddie nursed like a freak, gobbling and gulping and gasping. She’d choke and sputter and vomit a lot. I’d worry and wish it were easier.
After consulting Mother Google, I figured out I have overactive ta ta’s. Adding even more complexity to this very “natural process,” each of my breasts has a separate personality. My left one, Big Bertha, does most of the work but she’s too aggressive; fills up too full, comes out too fast. My right one, Lazy Suzy, takes too long to let down, doesn’t make as much milk and generally doesn’t care.
Maddie doesn’t have time to deal with all that boobie drama, so she just gets irritated and feedings become stressful for both of us.
So back to me being a control freak.
With a bottle, Maddie gets the milk delivered in a consistent flow.
There is a perfect 4 oz marker right there on the plastic so I can see how much she eats.
If I make too much milk (which I do), I can guarantee there is always plenty stored away for whatever might come up.
I’m honestly not up to the task of learning the “art” of breastfeeding.
I wish I was one of those amazing babywearing, co-sleeping, pre-natal yoga doing, kashi eating moms who could somehow breastfeed and lead a modern life, too.
Maybe all those breastfed babies who fall asleep listening to their mother’s heart beating go to Harvard or something?
My Maddie, who is lulled to sleep by the rhythmic mechanical sound of my electric pump, will at least make it to technical school.