Friday, April 23, 2010

Three Conversations

This Week

With my 4 year old daughter in a store...

"Look at all these books, Mommy. You could read them all!"

"I could, couldn't I? Would you like to learn to read, Sweetie? Then you could read all these books too."


"No? You don't want to learn to read?"

"Well I can't, Mommy!"

"Why ever not?"

"Cause, Mommy, we're in a store! Now is just not a good time. Geez, maybe later."

With my 75 year old mother over tea...

"When I told the nurse I wanted to breastfeed my baby she said, "No way. I'm not walking him all the way back and forth from the premature babies ward to you everytime he wants to eat. I'm giving him bottles. You can breastfeed your next one." And that was it! There was nothing I could do. I wasn't allowed to get out of my bed and they wouldn't bring my baby to me."

"That's terrible. That makes me so mad."

"Then when I had my next baby I don't know why I didn't breastfeed her. I just didn't know how. I was just used to bottles. My mother told me, "You don't know what you're missing, not breastfeeding," but she wasn't around to show me."

"It's really too bad."

"I feel awful about it."

"Don't feel awful, it's not your fault. A new mom needs help, and that's all there is to it. I needed help."

"Well I wish I would have done it. That terrible terrible awful nurse. I could punch her lights out." (Looks so forlorn and helpless and sad about something that happened 45 years ago)

"Don't be sad. See? I'm nursing your granddaughter right now and your granddaughters will nurse their babies."

(My five-month old looks up from nursing as if she knows we're talking about her. She grins and a bit of milk dribbles down her chubby chins.)

"That does make me feel good, it's true."

With my 21-month old son in his bedroom...

"Okay, night night Baby-O. It's sleepy time now."

"Naya! Nooooo!"

"It's sleepy time, now. After num nums comes night night."

"Noooo! Ya ya la! Geddamashee!"


"Mine mine mine mine me! My! Geddamashee!"

"Why are you slapping your tummy, Baby? Does your belly hurt?"

"Nooooo! Hungee hungee. Go ya! (pointing at the door). Go ya geddamoshee!"

"Go ya? To the kitchen? Are you hungry?"

"Ya! Ya! Hungee. Go ya geddamoshee!"

"Get more cheese, Baby?"

"Ya! Mama, ya! Ged mo sheese! Ged mo sheese!"

"Go to the kitchen and get more cheese?"

"Yay! Yay! Yay!" (Dances with joy!)


  1. You are so good at making me laugh out loud and breaking my heart at the same time!

  2. Aw, Betsy, you covered the gamut with this one. And now I want cheese.

  3. I love that conversation with your mom. It is so real and so honest. I'm glad you were able to make her see the value in your passion for breastfeeding. My mom didn't breastfeed either and we've had somewhat similar conversations.

  4. I'm behind, but I couldn't read without commenting.

    #1 After moving out of state, my niece was visiting her old town when she was about 5 years old, and her mother asked her if she wanted to move back into her old house. "No, Mommy," she said in a patient voice, "we didn't bring all my shoes."

    #2 Heartbreaking & beautiful. My mother-in-law still regrets weaning her daughter early, and my mom still justifies (defensively) weaning my brother early, 30+ years after the fact for both. Sometimes we never let go of the guilt and regrets. Is it a specifically mother thing?

    #3 Sometimes you just need cheese.


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