Milk Lady and Sleep Bringer

Like in all marriages, Sean and I have different roles.  We each have some things we do very well and some things not so much, but between the two of us, we pretty much have all the bases covered.  We do tend to fall into traditional male/female roles.  For example, Sean takes care of the finances and the cars, scoops the litter box, and takes out the garbage.  I cook, clean the house, and feed the pets.  Where the girls are concerned, I’m the disciplinarian.  Sean is the fun one.

When we have a baby, I am the milk lady and Sean is the sleep bringer.  We fell into these roles with Samantha, repeated them with Ella, and are now experiencing them with Penny.  When they are tiny babies, the milk lady has the power of sleep as well.  I nurse, baby falls asleep, no problem.  At about 6 months old, however, they stop falling asleep nursing.  That’s where Sean comes in.  He puts the baby in the Bjorn and in 15 minutes, she’s asleep.

They won’t sleep for me at this point in their lives.  They see me and all they can think about is milk.  They’re full, but as soon as I pick them up, they start trying to nurse.  I always offer, thinking maybe they’re still hungry, and am usually bit, which quickly stops the feeding attempt.  I then pass the baby on to Sean who puts her to sleep in record time.  It works for us.  Although it’s sad that my baby no longer falls asleep contentedly nursing, it’s a natural progression for them to learn to go to sleep on their own without a boob in their mouth.   Definitely a necessary development as I really don’t want a teenager needing the boob to go to sleep.

Most of the time, this works out just fine.  But on nights, like last night, when Sean isn’t home at bedtime, things do not go well.  We went to my mother-in-law’s house for Father’s Day dinner tonight.  We have discovered if we stay until 8 o’clock bedtime, bathe the girls and get them in their jammies at mom-in-law’s house, then pop them in the car, they all fall asleep on the way home.  All we have to do is get them out of the car and lay them in their beds.   We magically have bedtime with no fighting.

We did the same last night and all three were asleep in their beds.    Penny started crying a little, but I thought she’d go back to sleep pretty easily, so Sean headed out to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  I don’t know why I never learn.

As soon as I entered her room to quiet her, her crying caused my milk to let down.  I was already in my pajamas.  I have to wear a nursing bra with nursing pads overnight because otherwise I leak and wake up soaking wet.  Tonight, however, my one night time nursing bra was in the wash.  (I used to have two, but one got too stretched out after 2 kids so I threw it.  I figure I don’t have too much longer nursing since I wean right after a year, so it’s really not worth it to buy a new one.)

So, there I am, in my pajamas sans bra when my milk lets down leaving me in a wet shirt.  Crap.  I really hate that.  I pick up the baby, who smells the milk and immediately throws herself sideways and starts rooting around.  Sigh.  I know she’s not hungry since she just ate 45 minutes earlier, but stupidly, I give it a try.  She bites me.

Now, I have a wet shirt and a wet, crying baby since I got milk on her too.  I try putting her in her bouncy seat.  Sometimes the vibrations work.  No luck.  So I pick her up and start walking and bouncing.    She keeps crying and trying to root around.  You guessed it, I try to feed her again.  Surprise, she bites me, again.

More walking and bouncing and shushing and singing.  More rooting around and screaming (I did not try to feed her again).  Finally, after 45 minutes, she fell asleep.  My arms hurt and my back was sore from bouncing my 18 pound baby around for that long.  I have bite marks where there shouldn’t be bite marks.  And, my shirt is wet and cold.

I have decided the sleep bringer  is no longer allowed to go anywhere until all the girls have been asleep in their own beds for at least 30 minutes. Unfortunately, last night that would have meant he wouldn’t have made it to the grocery store before it closed.  He wouldn’t have been able to perform one of his most important roles:  chocolate ice cream bringer.

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5 Responses to “Milk Lady and Sleep Bringer”

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  1. leah says:

    very cute.
    i have the same horrid problem with nursing, being wet all the time. trying to get it under control.
    my hubby use to be able to put my son to bed, but my daughter wants me and only me. and she’s begun the biting as well.

    i’m a new follower, really enjoying reading your posts.


  2. Sofia's Ideas
    Twitter: SofiasIdeas

    Milk Lady, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed this post!!!

    We had the same dynamics with all five of ours when they were little. Thanks for sharing this, it brought me back and put a smile on my face! :)

  3. Jessica Anne says:

    @ leah – let me know if you figure out the wet thing. I’m on my third, and I still can’t get it controlled. Thanks for following, glad you’re liking it. :)

    @Sofia — Thanks!

  4. Alyna @ Better Your Blog
    Twitter: BetterYourBlog

    Um, OUCH! I guess the need to soothe overrides the desire to protect yourself and *that* is why you don’t learn NOT to offer to nurse when they are full? Your body is clearly responding to their cry so maybe nature just takes over your brain at that point…

    I think your posts just keep getting better! Wonderful storytelling!!! I loved this post. Careful, you may have to end up adding more to your Sneeze Page! :-)

    You, my dear, are Better Your Blogs FIRST Featured Member! Head on over to check it out. You got mentioned in my vlog and everything!

    Hope this is a nice start to your week!!!

  5. jaded16 says:

    I laughed out loud at the end. So cute! Thanks. I really needed it.