Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Feeding Monk

The year was 1982. I had just brought home from the hospital my newborn baby, Greg. My oldest daughter, Keeley, who was 13 at the time, was at school during the day, and I had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom.

My 15-month old daughter, Lindsey, adapted well to her new sibling. Intrigued by her new little brother, Lindsey frequently stood next to Greg's cradle peering down at him while sucking her thumb and playing with her hair, probably wondering if he was a permanent addition to our family.

Lindsey's favorite toy at that time was a little white furry monkey named Monk. Monk had a plastic face, hands, feet, and belly. Monk could poke his thumb into his belly, his ears, or his mouth, and Lindsey carried him around with her everywhere. Every time I held Greg, she grabbed her little monkey and held him as I did her brother.

She wrapped Monk in blankets, hugged him, kissed him, wiped his face, stuck his thumb into his belly, his ears, and his mouth, and treated him as if he were her baby.

One day, during Greg's first week home, as I was sitting on the couch getting ready to nurse Greg, Lindsey noticed me sitting on the couch and ran to grab Monk. Sitting on the floor next to my feet, she pulled up her shirt and very gently stuffed Monk under her shirt and carefully placed his mouth on her nipple.

Instantaneously I burst into explosive laughter, causing Greg to lose his grip.

Nursing an infant when you can't sit still because you're jiggling from laughter is nearly impossible. Greg was getting frustrated that his food supply was being compromised, and I was laughing so hard, I couldn't keep his mouth in place. But I also had to hide the fact that I was laughing, because Lindsey, even at the age of 15 months, became incensed if she thought anybody was laughing at her.

This event repeated itself every day, morning, noon, and night. Lindsey, Greg, Monk, and I became nursing buddies. And while I never stopped laughing at Lindsey's imitation of me as she fed her little monkey, I never let her see me laughing either. Eventually I learned how to enjoy our nursing time together without starving Greg.

(The photo on the left shows Monk with my youngest daughter, Brittney. Photo on the right shows Lindsey at the age when she was nursing Monk. Behind her on the right, though you cannot see his face, is her brother Greg at two months old.)

No comments:

Post a Comment