Typed from the grave.
October 26, 2009

Charlotte is trying to kill me.

Oh, she tries to be sneaky and act innocent about it, but I am on to her.  I see Very Clearly what she’s trying to do.  She’s a mother-killer, that one.  A MOTHER-KILLER.

She wants to be held all the time.  That sentence alone is the entire thesis of the Telltale Signs That Your Child Is A Mother-Killer 101 textbook, but at first I convinced myself that the exact opposite was true.  I convinced myself that she never wanted to be set down because she loooooooooooooooved me.

So I held her.  I cradled and rocked her and periodically shoved my nipple down her gullet.  And you know, for a few days, it was really lovely.  THIS is what being a mother is all about, I thought with pride.  How sweet!  How picture-perfect!  My child could not POSSIBLY be a mother-killer!  Not a chance in Hell!

Yeah.  About that?  It soon came to my attention that, well, I need a bit of downtime during the day.  Love my girl.  Love holding my girl.  But sometimes, a woman needs to pee.

Shortly after Charlotte started her whole “must be held all the time or else I will unleash upon you a furious plague of locusts” gig, she also stopped taking daytime naps.  You know, the daytime naps I bragged about last week?  The daytime naps upon which my fragile sanity hangs?  Yeah.  THOSE daytime naps.  Gone.  Abandoned.  Left in the dust for lesser beings who believe in sleep.

Or rather, she stopped taking daytime naps without my breast in her mouth.  And again, I fell for it at first.  We’re bonding!, I thought.  She values me!  I’m her milk-producing hero!  Isn’t it amazing how I’m able to do that?  Turn something that is so blatantly MOTHER-KILLING into something benign and mushy and fantastic?  I swear this is a new development.  Before I went and had condom-less sex, I was much more cynical.

Anyway, it took me a few days to realize that if my breast was being sucked on while my baby was sleeping, then that whole HOLY SHIT, I AM ALONE, YIPPEE! aspect of naptime was pretty much shot to Hell.  Which, okay, I guess I didn’t have a baby so that I could spend the next two decades as a hermit, but is it too much to ask for ten minutes alone in a day?

Back when naps sans boob were not so elusive.

Charlotte’s a sly one, but I have her number.  She shrieks like a banshee if I set her down.  And she stays awake for hours, until her eyes are puffy and red and she has more in common with a crazed hyena than a cuddly baby, if I dare pop my boob out of her mouth from time to time.  This is mother-killing guerilla warfare baby-style AT ITS FINEST.

And I’ll be damned if I’m not losing the battle.

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  1. By Monica on October 26, 2009

    Oh no, I remember those days!!!  Time to watch a few youtube videos about wearing a little baby on your back in a wrap so your hands are free at least.  As for the nappage with nipple in mouth conundrum… well, I can remember being so careful to preserve the latch that limbs would literally start falling asleep from maintaining their position for too long.  Yikes.  You’ll get through it!

  2. By kbreints on October 26, 2009

    I have to say that I never had that problem—but I never breastfed my boys for an extended period of time… and we did not co-sleep. Not that is right or wrong…it was just not something I went through (at that age) however when they got old enough to walk and follow me around? That was a different story…. I could NEVER pee by myself.

  3. By Megan R. on October 26, 2009

    Aren’t the wee ones good at luring us in to a new “schedule” or “routine” only to change it three days later???  I am a sucker for it every time!  My Peanut slept through the night twice, and I though…woo hoo…here we go…more sleep!  Nope.  Past two nights she has slept less and now takes awhile to put down / go back down…even though she is EXHAUSTED!  Little fighter, that one.  One day we will be able to pee alone or have time to ourselves again.  I think that happens when they get to high school?  Maybe?

  4. By gretchen from lifenut on October 26, 2009

    Growth spurt! Yeppers.

    She’ll stop that insanity soon.

  5. By Natballs on October 26, 2009

    so… how are you able to blog?

  6. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on October 26, 2009

    Natballs - Either after she’s out for the night or before she wakes up.  Either way, I have to be fast because if she smells me missing, I’m toast =P

  7. By Stephanie on October 26, 2009

    Uh oh! I’m in for it. I can see it now.

    I’m toast.

  8. By erin on October 26, 2009

    Do you have the Wonder Weeks book yet?  It’s awesome.

    Hannah was a terrible napper when she slept well at night, and now that she is not sleeping well at night she has turned into a champion napper.  I’ll take what I can get.

  9. By on October 26, 2009

    Hi there!  Never commented before but ooh boy do I feel your pain.  In fact I’m typing this one handed right now as my 16 month old sleeps on my lap after nursing to sleep.  He’s been taking his naps like this since he was about your daughter’s age, it is the only thing that works. He also sleeps with us at night.

    I’m writing because I remember being in your situation last year, even before I started working, and feeling totally overwhelmed and a little lonely and isolated and a bit lost because I too had nooo free time.  So I want to say this—if you choose to just go with the flow and let your (beautiful!) daughter call the shots for now and she somehow ends up like my pumpkin, it does get better!  So much better!  And he is such a happy and fun baby :)

    Some things that help me still are having some nice music playing, having a book and my computer set up so I can work/read/leave excessively long comments on blogs of people I don’t really know (though this is only the second time I swear).  I let him sleep on a boppy so both hands are pretty much free.  I even set up some coffee or tea and honestly I’ve come to look forward to this time—it is peaceful and sort of alone time for me.  You could also find a local La Leche League and maybe meet some other moms in similar situations?

    They are only babies for so long, try to cherish every moment.  Even if she ends up like my little guy, the time will zip on by and you will miss this.  Yeah, it’s hard sometimes even now and sometimes I get upset but I step back, take a deep breath and think how lucky I am to be able to be there every moment.  I do not regret a second of it.

    Sorry this is so long!  So sorry!

  10. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on October 26, 2009

    Cate - Long comments are always welcome!!  As we “speak,“ I am in exactly the same position you are.  I nursed her to sleep on my lap and now I’m typing one-handed as I support her with the other.  Lol.  And I’m all set up just like you - hot chocolate, a book, the computer.  Seriously, they should include this in parenting books because it took me a few days to figure it out, and all.that.boredom. could have been avoided.

    It’s just, sometimes I feel like I appreciate her more when I have a chance to spend five minutes by myself every now and then, you know?  Did you ever feel like that?

  11. By Stephanie on October 26, 2009

    Jasper does the SAME thing. I’ve started working on daytime naps with him—I let him sleep on me 45-60 minutes, and then put him alone in the bed for the rest of his nap. He’s made it an hour on his own before, but the past two weeks have been INTENSE, he’s barely sleeping at night and only napping on me, attached to a breast.

  12. By Elizabeth Mackey on October 26, 2009

    My youngest daughter was 24/7 glued to me, either boob or just riding on my hip. I even developed a gangliod cyst on my wrist, from holding her so much.  She was a horrible napper, unlike her sister. To this day she is very close to me though, unlike my oldest. So….Look forward to that maybe??

  13. By on October 26, 2009

    That’s funny, my little guy is still snoozing!  I definitely felt like that, and still do sometimes!  It was hard to get any time in those first few months, it was very rough.  I wish I’d taken more advantage of family’s offers to help, I think it would have helped a lot.  Things started getting easier around 6 months when he could sit up and play with toys by himself for a bit.  And now it’s a totally different story—he plays by himself for short spurts throughout the day and doesn’t nurse nearly as much.  And we can actually go out for an evening and leave him with his grandma and he’s usually ok.  He still nurses to sleep but if he’s tired enough he’ll snooze on her.  She can’t put him down either though, the kid just loves to cuddle!  So, even if you can’t get someone to come by and hold her for a bit, it should get better for you soon!  Hang in there, you’re not alone :)

  14. By jasmine on October 26, 2009

    Don’t ya just love babies!

  15. By on October 26, 2009

    Have you ever considered using a Moby Wrap? It might cure her obsession to always having you holding her while doing chores!

  16. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on October 26, 2009

    Kate - I live in the Moby and the Ergo, with an occasional sling or pouch on the go.  The problem is twofold: a) its so hot here right now midday that she cries because she’s uncmfortable, and b) she doesn’t just want to be held, she also wants constant attention, so she squawks when I try doing chores.  Most chores get done in the evening when Donald gets home.

  17. By Elizabeth on October 26, 2009

    Hang in there.  I love those times when the kids decide to switch it up.  Juuuust to keep you on your toes, right?!!

  18. By on October 27, 2009

    Bless you Sarah, I’ve felt your pain. My second child wanted to go through life attached to the breast for the first three months. My skin, all of my skin, felt chapped from so much contact. You do appreciate them more when you can get away for 5 minutes and I think they feel the same way. By four months, he was ready for someone else to hold him for a little while. When I came into the room, he would take one look and do what I called the “whole baby wiggle”. Arms and legs failing, face lit up with joy, showing me his little gums. A moment we both loved but one that would have never happened if we hadn’t been apart for a little while.

  19. By *emilie* on October 27, 2009

    isn’t is crazy ? 3 months ago,
    would you have believed that peeing by yourself was such a luxury ??

  20. By Spruce Hill on October 27, 2009

    She is getting so big! It will get better! All my girls did the same thing. I think they were permanently attached to me for at least 4 or 5 months :)

  21. By Joanie on October 27, 2009

    Oh my second was like that too. A whole year of toting him around attached to my boob. I started answering his wails with a comical “Moo?“ If I hadn’t laughed I would have lost my mind.

  22. By Motherofbun on October 27, 2009

    You bring back lots of memories. Especially the part where your little one can’t seem to sleep unless there’s a boob in her mouth. :-)

  23. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 28, 2009

    You poor thing!  It’s got to be hard - on the one hand you want to hold her and cuddle with her but on the other hand, you do need your “me” time too.  She’s already learning how to take advantage of it, isn’t she?  :)

  24. By Cambria Copeland on October 29, 2009

    My kiddo (now 15 months and recently weened) always slept with the boob in her mouth, and I let her.  At 12 months I day weened and she had to learn to nap on her own and now that she is weened she sleeps on her own (but sometimes has to do some boob squeezes).  She’s a boob fiend, but I am pleased that I was able to nurse her as long as we did.  I miss those days of snoozing with her while she nursed beside me in the bed.





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