Feed Me!

E Russel Murphy
Meet Elmer Russel Murphy, spring of 1907.  Awwwwww.  Look at those ‘dorable fat cheeks!  Ten and a half pounds at birth on February 12, as close as the doctor could tell with his portable scales of the day.  That means he was born at home, honey!  He looks like if you poke him with a hat pin, he’d fly around the room.

Fast forward 69 years to the day to his grandson, Randy, 2 months, 22 days.

He cries, he whimpers.  He wiggles and fusses.  So what’s a mommy to do?  Feed him, of course.  Then pat his back firmly for a belch, change the diaper, and hope to heaven he falls asleep for another two hours.

What you see here is a 2 month old who, from day one, breastfed every hour during my wake time and every two hours throughout the night.  “Feed him cereal at night.  He’ll sleep right through.”  Not.

It wasn’t long after this shot on Feb 12 that he did indeed sleep through the night all the way to 10am.  But it wasn’t because of cereal at bedtime.

You haven’t seen a mommy dash so fast from bed to crib as I did when I rolled over, fully rested for the first time in months.  I immediately thought the worst.  Ohm’god!!  What I found was a 16 lb. 8 oz two month old sucking mercilessly on his thumb.

Whew. whew. whew.  I hauled him out of there and held him close.  He was suddenly awake and very, very hungry.

My computer wallpaper at work is a photo of this now grown man’s 2 year old son, my grandson, smiling with cheerios in his mouth.  He had just eaten a full meal for cryin’ out loud and now had even more food in his mouth!   Were there more Cheerios in his little fists waiting their turn?  Some things just go on and on and on.

It’s a gene thing.  I love it.


Quick! Where’s the camera?

Brenda_in_her_dishBefore she drowns!!

Some kids are textbook.  They do something, you find it in the index with a page number, and there’s your answer.  Apply,  and success is yours.

Then there are kids who rip the edge of the envelope and write a new one.

My daughter is the 22nd of 22 grandchildren. I babysat many of those other grandchildren as I was growing up.  Plus  I babysat other kids throughout my junior high and senior high years.   I had extensive experience with children of all ages by the time I had my own.  Diapers, bottles, and bedtimes were nothing new.  However, no matter the experience with other people’s kids, there are some things your own offspring hand you that is new.  Some?  Understatement.

Standard Operating Procedure according to all the authors, the other mothers, my own mother, my mother-in-law, my sisters, my first child, and strangers on the street — "Please help me!!" "Go away!!" — is that in the child’s first year, he/she will nap in the morning and in the afternoon and go to bed at 8:00.  In the child’s second year, he/she will not need a morning nap and will nap only in the afternoon.  Brenda didn’t read the books.

At 3 months, the morning nap was history.  It was replaced by screaming not heard in any horror movie — ever.  Ok.  She wins.  At less than one year, the afternoon nap also became nuclear.  Ok.  I want peace.  She can stay up all day.  Also, during the course of the first year, a 10:30 bedtime was a contest of wills.  By the time I just knew her lungs were about to hit the wall, she slumped and slept.

When it was clear that there were no naps ever again, she developed a pattern.  When she first dumped the naptime, it was about once a week between 5 and 7:00pm  that she would stop whatever high energy activity that she was in the middle of and be still for about two minutes during which time her eyes became heavy, drifted shut, and she slowly slumped over.  We would scoop her off the floor, the sofa, the high chair (yes, we wiped the food off),  or wherever, deposit her in the crib, and the next morning she awoke refreshed, perky as you please.

I want to pause here and say that Brenda was the prettiest, sweetest, most pleasant and fun little person I ever knew.   I hope someday she has a baby as adorable as she was.

This pass-out pattern prevailed throughout toddlerness.  As she grew older, the one week became two, the two weeks stretched into a month and eventually, she made it to bedtime, dragged out, but dag-nabbit, she didn’t give up.  By the time early elementary school came around, the big brother partnered with her to negotiate for a later bedtime.  Of course, he ruled and she was in full agreement.  The new negotiated bedtime was 9:00.  It wasn’t more than a week, and BB approached us, in tears, asking if she could please go to bed at 8:30.  Sure.  We give.

Hey, Lily, you were a ball.  And we didn’t let you drown.