Sunday, February 26, 2006

Could This Be The First Step Towards Weaning?

I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel! Very distant at the moment, but it's getting closer, I swear!!
It was Valentine's Day. It was bedtime for my 18 month old Daughter. We went through our usual bedtime routine: bath, dressed in jammies, pop in the Mozart CD( keeping it low so as not to be too distracting), reading books (all of them, as well as several times through), then lights off and rocking in the chair with meems (one of the many endearing terms she has given to my breasts) as usual.
She appeared to be content. Then, without any warning, she unlatched, threw herself to the bed in full dramatics and started screaming. These were no regular bedtime quirks. She was pissed. She got up finally, wandered a bit around the room, obviously tired, not knowing what to do, still screaming, refusing to be picked up. At this point, I thought it best for her to get out whatever she needed to get out, out. She calms down, comes back for meems, repeat.
Suddenly, it dawned on me: she didn't even want to nurse! She just wants to go to sleep! The third time around, after she had calmed down, she went and laid down on the bed and became very quiet. I crept down from the chair to make sure she actually asleep, and not anything else. Yep, she was fast asleep, even snoring softly. I lay down next to her ever so carefully as to not wake her and chance another screaming fit, and just held her for a bit. I began to rub her back gently, working in the massage techniques I learned from books and videos. She moved into the crook of my arm, but not to nurse. She just wanted to cuddle! She went to sleep with no meems whatsoever. What's more, she stayed asleep for the rest of the night!!

When all of this happened, I immediately realized what was going on: She's starting to wean herself, slowly, gradually. Very gradually.

She did this again a few more times later in the week-minus the screaming. She just climbed into the bed and fell asleep without meems after only a few rocks of the chair. Could it be? Could this be the very beginning of weaning?

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Lately I have been cool about the fact that I have a three and a half old. Instead of mourning the fact that we are hurtling toward adulthood (as I did the first two years) I am enjoying the ride. I don’t fear the day she says” Mom, my room sucks. It’s sooo babyish!” or borrows my currently non-existent fabulous jewelry. I love watching the kid she has become. I am trying not to look back but today she fell asleep in my arms and lost it.

She was sick and despite being over half my height she crashed against me, crawled into my arms and thrashed, teary eyed, miserable. I went into mama automatic. Relaxed my body and deepened my breathing. Although I was totally uncomfortable on the hardwood floor with all of my (and her) body weight balanced on my elbow, I let her twist, turn, tear at her eyes and just held her. Astonishingly, she stopped fighting sleep and her body grew heavier. I sat breath after breath and waited. I kicked all of the toys out of my path and made it to the couch. I sank down and crammed a blanket under my left arm; leaned delicately back. Still she slept. I watched her face, hands, the length of her body and I cried.

Hot silent tears trickled down my cheeks. My body remembered every moment like this.
The hundreds of times I looked down, still as a stone. Her eyes did a serpentine slip slide before sleep. As a toddler she struggled to nap and only my milk and arms and stillness would carry her away. I can barely contain her in my arms now. Her legs seem to stretch on forever. I have not seen her nap this way in almost two years.

The house settles, shifts, and slows its breath too. Fire glows and snow falls. My tears stop.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Lemon pound cake is my attempt at salvation today. The recipe calls for the requisite ludicrous amount of butter, white sugar, and the majority of my week’s WIC eggs. I will get no points as Frugal Housefrau today but we need this cake.

A yellow candle burns on the counter surrounded by fat, gloriously yellow fruits. I have whispered my prayer. My daughter is juicing the lemons. I steady her little hands over a bowl. We hold the lemon half in our left hands and squeeze, twisting a Peter Rabbit spoon around inside, pushing out the pulp and juice. “Squeeze, twist” we chant softly. I take my hands away to sift the flour. Little hands continue work, a little voice chants.

We need lemons today. We need yellow magic. We blend a huge pitcher of lemonade, roll and toss a half dozen lemons on the couch, cut out a construction paper bowl and fill it with paper lemons. I watch the sugar dissolve as I whisk the glaze for the cake. An intense lemon syrup shimmering. While I whisk my daughter runs around the living room busily setting up tiny bowls of dry cereal that a line of stuffed animals sidle up to for the rest of the day. I wash the mixing bowl, measuring cup, beaters…I listen to the water rushing from the faucet.

It has been a strange winter. In our bleak front yard sits the long since caved in Solstice snow fort, a mountain of dirty ice that she “otter slides” down. I stand beside her watching. It seems as if this winter has not really set in yet and at the same time has that interminable quality that pulls us into a place not exactly dark but dull. Perpetually overcast. One of my journal entries reads “pit of hellish self doubt = motherhood.”

Last week as we sat down to lunch our food barely fit on the table. A “party” had been arranged. Boxes and random containers were stacked together. Cakes, she told me. Huge, delicious cakes that were not to be moved. Magazine cutouts of ferrets were propped up alongside waiting to nibble at the dainties. She was tearing around reciting stories wearing her underwear, a yard sale find “ALF” life vest (circa 1986), and bouncing pigtails. For a child with such a brilliant imagination every piece of string or lint evokes an entire universe and she is utterly bereft if one is moved or vacuumed away. We vacillate between charmed and damned depending how well I draw a dog or how fast I sing a song.

We need this cake. We eat our slices contentedly.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Imagine that tomorrow morning you are reading the newspaper or online news and under the “Health News” heading, you find this article:

Miraculous Milk

A long-term, well-documented study has shown that certain glandular secretions occur in response to a loving and harmonious emotional state that directly effect the taste and nutritional value of milk.

The study further shows that there is a type of informational download that milk induces in the infant on a vibrational level. It is similar to telepathy, in that milk absorbs and then emits information about the quality and essence of life from the mother and her surroundings.

When Love is introduced into the formula, milk takes on a Eucharistic and sacramental function of uniting the infant with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in form. Within the developing brain and nervous system, this influence lays the foundation for a life of close communion with Divine Consciousness.

The implications of this study are clear: Now that the healing effects of Love-saturated milk are known and understood, it is clear that we must allow no other kind to be produced, whether for nursing by infants or consumption as food. In fact, milk should no longer be looked upon as just another type of food, but in addition be understood as a special Eucharistic substance for spiritual attunement.

The implications of these findings are so important to our collective health and consciousness, that world-wide health organizations are now calling for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of milk producing mothers, human and animal, to be carefully protected by every segment of society, and for an infant's unobstructed access to mother's milk to be considered a legal and ethical birthright of every infant - human and animal.

While this “article” of course, is fictitious, the core truth it touches on is not. We all know that, once separated from its mother’s body, milk produced from the mother’s body takes over as the way by which an infant survives, by which he or she successfully steps across the threshold of birth and into the realm of growth and thriving.

But an even subtler truth at work here is that milk produced from the mother’s body is the way by which an infant continues to receive the vital Love-encoding and teaching that began in the womb; the mysterious biological "conversation" that is essential for a developing infant to continue to maintain not only biological life, but also to gain a life foundation that has been saturated with Love.

Most breastfeeding mothers, at one time or another, have come upon this more subtle truth, often only half consciously and unarticulated. Or, even sadder, perhaps quite consciously and beautifully articulated, but with no audience to listen.

But –

Imagine if we lived in a world where everyone accepted this truth as common knowledge? If this truth was indeed, wonderfully and profusely articulated throughout society? If mothers passed on this truth to their daughters – and sons – as a simple, accepted piece of teaching about “how the world works?” If the governments legislated this truth into laws protecting the well-being of milk producing mothers and the right of all babies, human and animal, to receive the Love-saturated milk of their mothers?

Imagine if ALL babies, human and animal, were fed only this unadulterated, unmodified, un-messed-with, Love-encoded milk.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Birth Poem

1 a.m., Nearly 2, Late Summer

You came so clean
The others were envious.

So wizened you looked
Already, despite your newness:
Scrunchy face turned upwards
Hands folded, Lotus-like,
Clasped and overlapped.

So quizzical and bright
Immediately reaching
Instinct taking over.

What love!
There is no comparison
Yet found to match this.

You took over distances
In that room
Rocking us through and through.

My love
My love
My little cub, my little lion.

November 11, 2005

Not to be used without permission from author

Friday, February 17, 2006

Some mama poems...

For Sophia
March 2005

Years from now,
when you live on your own,
(somewhere like Detroit or Spain) —
your father and I will come visit you.

We will stay in a hotel (definitely)
and meet you after you leave work.
I will give you a bracelet we bought you that afternoon.
You will take us to your favorite places.

Take us where you love to go, I will say.
And I will mean it.
We will truly love it because you have loved it.

I will not bring clutter to fill your apartment,
empty offerings that say,
“I don’t know who you are anymore.”

I will look through your kitchen cupboards in serene non-judgment.

We speak with your friends of your childhood.
Nothing embarrassing, no broken bones, or private jokes.
Only of the way you made me feel
when your little arms wrapped around me,
trusting in our breath.

We will visit for just the right length of time
and be helpful and enthusiastic.

I don’t want this day to come too quickly,
But when it does I will think of writing this down in the sunlight of
earliest Spring,
while you napped indoors on the big blue couch.

April 2005

even within the darkness of her mother’s sheltering blood and bone,
a girl child holds within herself
all of the pearly seeds
all of the luminescence that may one day take shape
(take root, take breath, take name)

If all of the children of her future
lay silent within her
(still not a child herself)
then the echo of my daughter’s laughter
was held in my great-grandmother and in her mother before her.

If a gossamer thread runs swiftly through our wombs
past to future, future to past
then the mystery of my daughter was cradled in woman,
a mystery to me.

Who is this mother before the last mother I know?
Who is the mother of Maria?
(Mother to Pasqualina, Mother to Florinda Angela,
Mother to Linda, who was mother to me)

even within the darkness of my body,
of my sheltering blood and bone,
I hold inside myself
all the pearly seeds of memory
of the words that one day were spoken,
then the echo of my mothering voice
was held in my infancy (and the infancy of my mother before me),
in words most powerfully unspoken.

I sift through the layers,
their shadow weighing upon me,
the heaviest deeply submerged.

I must make them unbearably light and glowing,
change their weight and power,
refuse them, rename them.

Not to be used with out written permision from author. February 2006

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mama lovin blog on the way...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The mama-rama is coming soon!