So I’m irritated. Grateful, but irritated. I recently got a few days work out of the house. Since I could use the cash, but haven’t found a sitter yet, I was happy to have my mom babysit. I actually unknowingly fell into attachment parenting before I even knew what it was. On so many levels I was nervous about leaving my son, even if it was with my mom.
The recent experiences has done nothing to quell my fears of leaving him.
Before the work days, I worked hard to pump enough milk to leave for him. Since I absolutely, positively hate pumping, this was a labor of love. I looked up information on safe human milk handling, and wrote out a detailed, yet simple, list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. Also made some formula ahead of time, just in case, since we supplement. (As you shall see, this is where I went wrong). I made the maximum amount my son would have on a worse-case-scenario type day.
Also, to be considerate, since my mom was watching him and I figured she’d have enough on her plate just dealing with a baby for the first time in a while–I said she could use some of the left over disposables that were just laying around (another mistake). Since she insists cloth is confusing, I wanted her to focus on the breast milk handling. I figured that we’d have time to tackle cloth diapers since I would be asking her to watch him every now and again if I had to work.
What. A. Disaster.
Sonya Levien said it wonderfully. “Good intentions are not enough. They’ve never put an onion in the soup yet.” My mother has the best of intentions, they just don’t always translate into action.
I missed a call about 2 hours after I left home. I couldn’t return it until hours later.
“Where’s the milk?”
“What do you mean, ‘Where’s the milk?’ I showed you yesterday when we stood in the kitchen and I went through how to handle it. It’s in the bottom of the refrigerator.”
“Oh, OK. I’ll look again. Oh, and he pee’d right through that (cloth) diaper you had on him this morning, and I had to clean up his toy chair.”
“That’s because you didn’t change him mom. The diaper will always spill over if it’s so soiled it can’t hold any more.”
Click. Simple solutions, right?
When I got home my mother was gushing about how big and strong her grandson is. I smiled, exhausted from the first day of out-of-the-house work I’d done in months. I slowly walked to the fridge to pour myself some water and froze.
“Where is all that formula?”
“Oh, I couldn’t find the milk, so I just gave him formula,” she answered casually.
I snapped open the draw and pointed at the bottles of breastmilk.
“Oh, next time.”
I hit the roof, ranting and raving about how formula is always the last result with my son. I rattled on about how the formula I provided was for the entire day and only used if the breast milk available isn’t enough. I think I must have went overboard, because my father told me to calm down.
I quieted down, but I didn’t calm down. I felt disrespected, as if my desire to breastfeed wasn’t important to her. A few more minutes of looking and she would have found what was clearly there if it was important to her–or if she realized how important it is to me and my son.
After taking a few breaths, I watched my son and his grandfather play. After a few minutes my son began to cry. And cry. And cry.
“When is the last time you changed his diaper?”
“I don’t know,” she said puzzled. “It’s hard to tell with these disposables.”
I stuck my finger down the front. “He’s wet. Mom, every time you think he might be wet, he probably is wet. He pees all the time. He’s a really great baby, and he doesn’t always cry if he is wet or has pooped. Sometimes you just have to think about how long it’s been since you last changed him, and just go ahead and change him again.”
I did a quick change, and we enjoyed the rest of the evening.
Fast forward to the next day when I noticed a diaper rash. “How’d he get that?” my husband asked.
“From not being changed frequently enough while sitting in those stupid airlocked disposables yesterday,” I snipped. I was angry. It was the first time he ever had diaper rash.
And now I’m nervous about leaving him with my mother. And if I can’t trust my mother, who the heck can I trust? Ugh, this is why I practice attachment parenting.