This is what my family members say when I am telling them something and get side-tracked. I don’t often tell them to be prepared when I feel the need to jump over on 10th Avenue while we’ve been cruising right along on 2nd Street.
Funny thing is, my kids totally get this. And just keep on tracking with me.
Others? Not so much.
Every now and then people give me the deer in the headlights look. That’s when I tell myself, “Squirrel!” Then I back up to fill them in.
At least then they have time to catch up with my lightning fast, you gotta pay attention when I’m telling my story, kinda brain. I can lose you quick.
Not intentionally, more naturally like a mother giving birth. A mother with an epidural of course. She ain’t into pain and I ain’t either. Ain’t no shame to my game.
The Birthing Experience
Speaking of epidurals, they are great until you get to that “pushing part”.
I’m telling you that’s all skill right there. Thinking back to that time I remember thinking, “Squirrel.” Especially after pushing for two hours and they said, “You aren’t pushing effectively.” That’s about the time I wanted to clock them. I was keenly aware that an epidural didn’t touch back labor, which I happen to have a lot of right then. Sure it was mild. Kind of like a car driving through your body.
Then it happened. That beautiful baby started crowning and, “You guessed it” another squirrel moment.
Another Squirrel Moment
Dear God, my legs are in these stirrups and every human walking by can come in this room if they have their little badge on. I like to refer to them as investigators.
Oh the embarrassment. They kept reminding me that the stirrups were for me and I couldn’t have a baby with my knees together.
Yeah, I am that girl. Somewhat modest, private if you will. Especially with your first child. What’s wrong with modesty? Didn’t matter to me if I was having a baby. I didn’t like being so… exposed. I mean, throw me a sheet and shut the door please.
C’mon, I was just being ok with my parents knowing how I got in that condition to begin with even though I was married. The thought of them knowing I was, ya know, not something I wanted to think about.
So, I finally got the “pushing effectively thing” down. Especially when they brought up terms like “Cesarean.”
Yeah, I got this! And with one good push with the strength of someone trying to move Mt. Rushmore, my Lauren arrived. Two weeks overdue with my ankles swollen to the size of my thighs.
She looked at me smugly like “What took you so long?” and I swear, it’s like she giggled. OK, maybe that was in my head, but it seemed like she did.
After that, they whisked her away for a little “spa treatment.”
Me? Being more than a little tired, I just wanted to hold that baby and feed her.
Plus, I needed to inspect her. Every inch of her. I wanted to gaze upon this little miracle.
Smooch those tiny fingers.
Stare at that sasquatch hair.
Seriously, the kid was born with a wig. Got her first haircut at 10 weeks old.
The Not-So-Successful Breastfeeding
Lauren Ashley would be her name. Coal black hair and olive skin. I was smitten. Her ”spa treatments” didn’t take long and they brought her for her first feeding.
There is a reason there are Breastfeeding classes, clubs and I’m certain some women with trophies who can nurse half of the United States. Was I this woman? I think not. No, I was not.
I tried, really I did.
I even made it through Nurse Lactation-ist “helping” me.
I endured well-meaning female family members showing me the football hold and every other nursing maneuver.
But this is where I had to draw the line, when your reduced to your Father reading the instruction manual to the manual breast pump and trying to explain it. It seemed more than a little awkward.
I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but after excusing myself to go into the restroom to “pump” with that Spawn of Satan gadget, I came out with 1 ounce of milk after 15 minutes. 15 ounces of milk and a lot of tears. That’s when my common sense kicked in.
Enough Is Enough
My squirrel moment happened again and the word “Similac” began to call my name. Much like Oz in The Wizard of Oz.
And if all that was not embarrassing enough, no one prepared me for my milk letting down at random times when anyone’s child cried. Not just mine! When any child cried, my milk came rushing down.
On top of that, I got a glorious breast infection. These things were beasts. They were fighting back and not quite cooperating. Should I have to bite down on a hard back book for this baby to latch on?
Something tells me this can’t be right. That something is intense pain.
It wasn’t long after that glorious breast infection that I wrapped those puppies up tight enough to suffocate a gnat and popped open that similac can. I must tell you, Lauren drank that bottle with eyes glazed over and ended it with a burp loud enough to embarrass a man.
Yeah, she was happy and full.
It was bittersweet for me. I cried a little, rejoiced a little and thanked God.
I was feeling like a failure but more determined than ever to keep those puppies bound and forget about getting that nursing trophy. Was I ever relieved! Besides, Lauren sure did love that bottle. No love loss, only humorous lessons and a lot to laugh about later on.
So, the next time someone says “Squirrel” maybe I will pop in your head…Or not.
May you find yourself cruising on 10th Avenue and have a squirrel moment and jump on over to 2nd Street and join me. I think we might have a few laughs together.