I've been having a hard week. I've been missing my mom a lot. I've been worried about your small appetite and small stature and wishing I could hear about what I was like as a baby. Was I small? Did I like bananas? (Sweet Pea, you detest bananas.) When did I walk? Motherless mothering is really fucking hard. And I've really been sitting with it as you steadily decrease on the charts, as you happily turn up food that your pals are devouring, as you remain content to crawl while your peers toddle. I felt so helpless and worried and like such a BAD mom. But I was also curious. I know I was a breastfed baby, but for how long? How much? Was it on demand, as you are or was I scheduled? Did I nurse past six months? Not that it really matters, but these are the conversations I wish I could have these days. And then, in the midst of all of this, you completely stopped eating. You still nursed, but you refused all food except breast milk. I was really worried then, going over and over in my head all the ways I'd fucked you up *already!* around food, resorting to offering you those ridiculous baby crackers that I despise (and which you still refused). And then, maybe 24 hours into this food strike, you started vomiting.
No wonder you weren't eating! You didn't feel well.
And then, maybe 24 hours after you started throwing up, my therapist friend (who nursed her two beautiful healthy daughters on demand) called to chat. She told me her oldest daughter was the same weight as you at a year, that she never had a big appetite, that she's still petite and that she's *fine*. That you babies are so smart and know what you need and will eat food when you get hungry for food. That I'm not a bad mom.
And everything was okay again! (Well, not my mom being dead. That's never going to be okay.) I was recommitted to not force feeding you, to not giving in to the pressures and ease of the disgusting "normal" American way of eating, to following your lead. During this latest bug, I felt so much more present and in tuned with you. You just wanted to snuggle, to nurse, to read books, to be held. I can do that. I did do that, happily. I was the mom you needed. I got puked on. But the week got easier.
Who wants to walk when you can climb? We don't call you "monkey" for nothing!