On Saturday evening, I showed up (unfashionably & rudely late) to our dear friends house for their twins 5th birthday party. We were so late because my three oldest children were having a very difficult time cleaning up the messes they had made throughout the day. As a result, the baby had not been changed, had not been fed and was basically neglected until we got to the party when I: A) began to completely neglect and ignore the oldest three children and B) there were caring and loving people there to rescue poor Whit and tend to his needs.
Ok, that's not entirely true - I did nurse Whit and change him. It should be noted here that usually after nursing, Whit likes to have a little chaser of some formula. After nursing my chubby buddy, I left him to the Griffins who were more than happy to entertain my littlest guy. And they did such a good job of it, I totally forgot about Whit needing his chaser. After getting my oldest three to eat, ridiculously loud sucking sounds reminded me to make Whit a bottle, so I got that ready for him and Miss B. graciously fed him.
Much later in the evening I was nursing Whitaker and I noticed a bruise on his arm. Several other ladies noticed the bruise too. We all were twittering (in this instance twittering is used the old fashioned way - an adjective used to describe a way women make a fuss over something) over Whit and wondering how in the world this poor little creature could have gotten such a bruise. My only thought was that in the nursing process that perhaps he got pinched by my rings. We continued to speculate when Mr. T strolled through the kitchen and past all of us twittering ladies says, "It's a hickey."
"Remember, after you nursed him and we were holding him, he was up on my shoulder and sucking his arm. Remember, he was making such a loud sucking noise that you remembered he needed a bottle?"
"Oh yes, now I remember," I respond to Mr. T as I feel guilt and shame for not feeding my child and causing him to suck his arm so hard that he gave himself a bruise.
I then went into the other room to enlighten my husband as to why our ittie bittie baby boy had a horrible bruise. It was from his mother's neglect. Erik's response:
"Well, I guess that's why your certain parts of the female anatomy hurt. That baby has a strong suck!"
He said it with such surprise, it struck me that perhaps the physical evidence of my cracked and bleeding certain parts of the female anatomy, my doubling over in pain when nursing, and the bottles of lansinoh I used were not enough proof that the baby sucking caused MUCH pain. That all of a sudden he finally believed that nursing was painful and I wasn't lying.
Thankfully, I did not dwell on his "revelation" regarding the nursing process and instead focused on the feeling of satisfaction you get as a parent when you discover the cause for an inexplicable bruise - relief that should any Child Protective Services official question you, you do indeed have an explanation for each mark on your child's body and no one will be taking your children away from you . . . today.
Then I gathered up all of my children, managed to get them all home and safely to bed. Another superior day of parenting under my belt.