Love Hurts


I know I haven’t written much about Baby Oren (or as I like to call him, Sir Poopsalot. Or Baby Boo Boo. Or Smooshers McDuff. I really call him everything BUT his actual name).

Oren is the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” of babies. He’s a very adorable, huggable, smooshable, GARGANTUAN child. He’s only four and a half months old, weighs about 150 pounds, and is about 17 feet tall. He already fits into my husband’s clothing.

Yesterday, my dentist’s assistant asked if she could hold Oren (he was flirting with her). Not two minutes had passed before she handed him right back to me, telling me she had to go set up a new appointment with her chiropractor. She then hobbled away, groaning, with her hands supporting her lower back.

He’s big.

Much like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Oren has the best of intentions. He simply wants to love and be loved. But because he is such a huge, strong boy (with rather unrefined motor skills), his displays of affection generally turn into unintentional displays of physical abuse.

One of Oren’s favorite pastimes is gnawing on my chin like it is a chew toy (oh yes, I forgot to mention he is already teething. Actually, I am pretty certain he came out of my womb teething). It starts out innocent enough, with Oren just trying to tongue kiss my face (strangers at the playground think it looks so adorable). But soon the kissing turns into full throttle chewing, as Oren clenches down with his baby jaw and waves his head back and forth like he is trying to rip my chin off my face (strangers at the playground start to think this might not be so adorable after all).

Oren has given me quite a few chin hickeys. Unfortunately, they are not very becoming, and kind of hard to disguise (I can’t exactly wrap a tiny scarf around my chin). I just try to ignore my co-workers staring at my face, wondering what kind of kinky games my husband and I get into once the kids are asleep.

Oh. Then there is the very random, very thrilling, middle-of-the-night nose punching thing.

Although I had truly intended NOT to co-sleep with Oren, as I had with Emmy, I’ve ended up sleeping in bed with him by my side, every night. For the most part, it works out well, and allows me to do night feedings without having to keep getting up out of bed (yes, I am lazy. Especially at 2 in the morning). It also allows me the distinct pleasure of being punched repeatedly in the nose by my son. I’ll be sleeping peacefully, dreaming of bucolic country meadows and rainbows and dancing fairies, when WHAM! Baby Boo Boo lays the smackdown on my face.

And then he starts kicking me. Repeatedly. Right in my belly, by my c-section scar.

I’m pretty sure it’s just his way of making sure I am still lying next to him.

So now, in addition to “hickey chin,” I also have “fight club nose” and a black and blue tummy.

I should also mention Oren’s miraculous ever-growing fingernails. I swear to you, I clip my baby boy’s nails on an every-other day basis, thinking that perhaps it will keep his talons in check. But its not enough. Oren is still able to scratch “I Love Mama” or “This is great mom, but I would really love a prime rib” on my forearm as I breastfeed him.

Speaking of breastfeeding, have I mentioned Oren is teething? I have. Have I mentioned that I feel like I am in grave danger every time I breastfeed him? I do. I watch his face very carefully, waiting for that exact moment where his mouth transitions from “cute sucky-milk” mode to “Hannibal Lecter” mode. Then I say “no biting,” in a gentle but firm tone, and Smooshers McDuff smiles back at me in a “this is a fun game, mama!” way. I try to explain to him that it is not a game. He smiles back at me in a “I’m four months old and have no idea what you are saying, but I’m sure it’s funny” kind of a way. And then he bites down.

Baby Boo Boo also seems to thoroughly enjoy pulling my hair, pinching my neck, and sticking his thumb in my eyeball. Waaaay into my eyeball. Super fun times.

So next time you see me, if I am wearing a ski mask, and a helmet and breastplate, and perhaps holding a sword and shield, I’m not trying out a new “look”. It’s just that I have a BIG baby boy who loves me very, very much.

Dvora Koelling

Parenting with imagination. Or at least trying.


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