PAY BACK: THE DAY HE FED ME…
He had been out for barely an hour and already, he appeared quite smitten with my breasts. His energy was unmistakably centered around licking my nipples, even though he was finding trouble staying on them. So cupping my breast, I tried helping him get better mouthfuls but somehow, the ‘newness’ of those initial few hours turned out to be awkward for both of us, leaving me worried that he wasn’t getting enough to eat.
However, as the hours turned into days, and the days into weeks, he got better at sucking and before I knew it he appeared a veteran of the ‘art’, proving my initial fears needless.
At first, as is common with many first time moms, this whole breastfeeding process was pretty much painful on my nipples as they suffered nasty sores, courtesy of the initial bad latch-ons. But with time, as my son’s grip got better, I began to feel this indescribable satisfaction from the physical communion I was sharing with him. With one hand clutching my breast and the other clinging unto my back, he would intermittently gaze into my eyes as he kept the flow going.
His stares were so deep that piercing my soul, they somehow managed to give a deeper interpretation to the word ‘love’. Hence, it was no surprise when our shared intimacy transcended to emotional heights that made my heart melt at an incredibly fast rate. Clearly, my heart was totally sold out to my little man and I couldn’t help wondering if in the years to come, there was hope of creating room for my ‘still-coming’ little ones.
Now surprisingly, as the weeks rolled into months, things began to slowly change. For me, that is!
You see, after the initial excitement of the whole intimacy started to fade away, I gradually began to get tired of the constant communion my son expected with me. Worse still, my fatigue seemed to triple when I returned back to work and had ‘other’ responsibilities laid out on my table.
As in, even though he was now a bigger baby, my son wasn’t giving me much space…
…and combining his needs with my ‘other’ needs actually got tiring. Call me a bad mom but for example, there were moments when for a change, my body and mind desired a more mature connection with my pretty much starved up husband. But even in such situations, my ‘robustly fed’ son showed little understanding and refused to share, leaving me no choice but to let him win.
And so, that was how it went for a whole 6 months. Then, in the 7th month, as he got introduced to meals other than breast milk, he began to cut me a little slack here and there and goodness, was I grateful! It was relieving to finally be able to nourish him in a different kind way which fortunately was less demanding.
Then with time, I again saw another break approaching when I discovered that I wasn’t the only one feeding him. My son had somehow learnt to use his thumb and forefinger to feed himself. Though he often made a mess of things, still it was a start that made me not just a happy mama but a proud one as well.
Now, at this point, if I thought I had seen it all, I would have been wrong because in about his 14th month or so, my son finally pulled out the joker that took me over the moon. On that ‘historic’ day, as I was moving around the house, doing my own thing, I felt a tug at my skirt. Responding to the pull, I turned around to see my son. Banana in hand, he signaled for me to stoop. Obediently, I did. Then without warning, he shyly pushed the banana into my mouth and then watched my flabbergasted reaction as I bit a piece off. Next, he took a bite of his own and deliberately chewed on it slowly as if urging me to do the same.
At that moment, my heart melted all over again and my eyes welled up as I looked into his giggly eyes. Certainly, this was a first! After faithfully feeding him for the past 14 months, my son finally paid me back by sharing his beloved banana with me. Clearly, my efforts on all those sleepless nights and stressful days hadn’t gone unnoticed. Apparently, he had watched me all along and somehow, in his baby head, appreciated me as he waited for the day when he would finally be able to return the favour. So, on that ‘historic’ day, when he was finally able to, my son paid me back with a banana feeding!
(Picture Courtesy: essence.com, theroot, parenting, masterfile)