You just need to burp
I have a really short memory as a mother, apparently. My second-youngest daughter is 2.5, and she nursed until she was 21 months old, which was this year. Still, before Fiala was born, I envisioned nursing my baby with ease while reading school stuff to my children… like we’d just be all cozy on the couch and it’d all go so smoothly.
Um, no. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, probably mostly due to the fact that I can not do two things at once. Anything. I can’t even talk on the phone and load the dishwasher at the same time, which, in some countries, is a required skill before the marriage license is issued.
Still, I try.
In one of my (probably ill-fated) attempts this past week, I was reading (sort of) to my two middle boys as I nursed Fiala. About halfway through, as I had her up on my shoulder, patting her back, my 9yo, Grant, asked, “Is she done?” “No,” I replied, “She just needs to burp, then she’ll want more.” Sure enough, a baby-sized belch was issued, and she started rooting on my neck, looking for milk. “Wow,” Grant marvelled, “How did you know??”
That interaction reminded me of a dinnertime story… Robin, do forgive if I get some details wrong; it was a long time ago.
Anyways, for some reason, my sister was eating dinner with our family. Ethan was young, maybe three or four (he’s now 11). Robin has no children (except a non-custodial stepdaughter, who is only 13 years younger than Robin), and is alternately horrified and impressed by my mothering skills.
Mid-dinner, Ethan started moaning about how his tummy hurt. I was unmoved, insisting that he eat his dinner. (For years, Ethan would come up with some malady — EVERY SINGLE MEALTIME — about how/why he couldn’t eat. He’s past that, thank God, though he is still an abominably slow eater, and a borderline hypochondriac.) This went on for a while. Finally, I looked at him and said, “You just need to burp. Burp, and you’ll feel better, then you’ll be able to finish.”
This was one of the times my sister was horrified. I don’t remember if she started advocating for Ethan right there, or if she just told me later that she was thunderstruck: My lack of sympathy for my son’s health was beyond cold, and how could I possibly know he needed to b–
“Wow! I feel so much better! You were right, Mom!” And he finished his dinner with no further complaint.
Moms really do know everything.
About burps, anyways.