Piglet had his second settling in session with the childminder today. This went well, right up until the point where we were on the way home and Piglet, who has never been one for eating and drinking anything other than breast milk, decided that he was now hungry. Hungry enough to start licking the zip of my leather jacket whilst he sat in the sling. I fervently prayed that there would be a train due when we got to the station. Luckily there was.
It was due in 46 minutes, to be precise.
Now apparently, it is possible to breastfeed in my sling, at least according to the instructions. Once, whilst carrying Piglet in it, I came across a heavily pregnant woman in the sling section at John Lewis. She was thinking about which sling to buy, and wanted one she could use for feeding, as clearly we all do with the best intentions and plans that for most of us start to go awry right around the time of the first contraction when it starts to become clear that there is not going to be any whalesong involved in the whole birth thing, nor is it likely to take place in a bathtub strewn with rose petals and surrounded by fragrant Jo Malone candles while you practise your deep meditation techniques and allow yourself to open like a lotus flower to expel the baby gracefully and gently from the depths of your womanhood. Like the wizened old sage that I am, I said that in theory yes you could breastfeed in this sling, but I personally had not quite managed it.
This is because it is IMPOSSIBLE. Without even going into the nightmare that is breastfeeding in the early weeks, when you can’t even wear a bra because your nipples are too sore and you end up walking around Tesco with big wet patches on your dress from the leaking milk, and where the baby regularly remains attached to the breast for up to an hour and a half (each side), leaving you with basically no time to do anything else; even now, as a relatively advanced breastfeeder, breastfeeding in a sling involves skills I simply do not have.
The trouble was, I was now at a station, waiting 46 minutes for a train and with a baby who was so hungry he was licking my jacket. Remarkably, I managed to hoist up my top and discreetly proffer a nipple from within the sling without too much difficulty. And would Piglet take said nipple? No he would not. He did not even appear to be able to see it. After all, why would he be eating in an upright position, whilst being carried around, when on every other occasion he is reclining and being cradled in Mummy’s arms? This then led to twenty minutes of standing around trying to wave a nipple in Piglet’s face while he, able to smell the milk, got excited and rooted around, completely unable to find the breast, before I gave up, took him out of the sling and sat on the seat and fed him normally, which is what I would have done from the outset had I not been worried about the location of the station being near to my school, and the possibility of truanting teenagers popping up and filming the whole thing and posting it on Youtube.
Anyway, things are now OK again, as I have just produced this. Yes folks, this is what it actually looks like when not in the breast. Like milk, to be precise.
O the wonders of new-fangled breast pumps. I feel like a dairy cow. I’m sure they have a similar sense of achievement when they see the vats of milk going off to Tesco and Asda. Finally the mystery of how Piglet keeps getting bigger and bigger is solved. It certainly isn’t through solids, as most of them end up on the floor. Piglet takes great delight in pulling the tray off the Bumbo seat and waving it around in a way that makes me wonder if he is going to grow up to be some sort of delinquent n’er do well.
Speaking of which, on Tuesday I was reminded during a particularly uncomfortable ride on the number 83 bus of a scene I once witnessed on a National Express coach, where a woman was trying to get her toddler to sit down on the seat, and said toddler refused and continued to stand up on the chair, even when the coach started moving. I remember thinking that if it was my toddler I would have marched stridently off the coach, with the little urchin in my arms, saying they could kick and scream all they wanted but they would not be spending a two and a half hour coach journey refusing to sit nicely in their seat and we were not going anywhere until they did as they were told thank you very much.
That was until Piglet decided to re-enact this entire scene on a packed bus during rush hour. I basically had to hold him aloft like the baby Simba in the Lion King for the entire gridlocked journey so that he had a panoramic view out of the window, lord and master of all he surveyed on Wembley High Road.
He is now exploring the living room and looming dangerously close to the DVD player, which he is examining thoroughly as though he is about to start taking it apart and destroying it slowly, piece by piece.
Oh, he has now moved on to trying to smash up the television with one of my bangles. Time for an intervention, methinks.
Right, I’ve given him a ball. That should keep him happy for a couple of seconds until it rolls away. Already there is a lamp in the living room which no longer works after Piglet decided to pull on the wires attached to it for a few seconds before I rushed over, shouting “don’t touch anything ELECTRICAL! NOT THE PLUG SOCKETS!”
And he isn’t even crawling yet.