that’s my house right now. yes, you can donate breast milk, just like blood and bone marrow and sperm. there are all kinds of uses for your extra bits of bodily fluids. in this case, my milk shake brings all the babies to the yard. tiny little babies in the NICU in a hospital in kalamazoo which is affiliated with this milk bank. to them, my boob milk is a sweet, sweet life-sustaining elixir. there’s just one problem.
to be a breast milk donor you, of course, have to meet certain requirements. you must not use illegal intravenous drugs, have spent more than eight months in a prison in the UK with a cell mate named juan, can’t have accepted money in exchange for sex while getting a body piercing and a tattoo with your mom’s name on it within the last eight and a half days, and so on. all that is fine. you also can’t drink more than 24 ounces of coffee per day. ahem.
i is so sorry, little tiny babies. i is a bad milk donor. i start off so good. but, you see, every day, one, two o’ clock rolls around and i start jonesin’. i want me some joe. i need me some. my only saving grace is that they mix all the donor milk together and hopefully there are a few people who abstain completely, and our milk will just cancel each other out, see? (besides, i really only push the ounce limit by a tiny bit).
but the way i see it, ruth and joel both got coffee breast milk. it’s the american way. start those kids off with a caffeine addiction. start ’em off right. amercia was built on coffee. ever since the british tea party when we forsook that darkened leaf for the beans of the coffee plant. besides, coffee is an antioxidant and those tiny babies could use a little extra oomph. they’re in recovery, for cripes sake. and, what i lack in low caffeine dosage, i make up for in abundant fruit and veggie residue. i eat plain yogurt and grape nuts for breakfast ( ok, it’s actually “nutty nuggets”, the kroger brand. same thing). i down pistachios like candy and i consume pounds of fruit per day. this summer is the summer of the salad as we are growing lettuce in our community garden plot and the leaves won’t be contained with all of this rain we’ve been getting. swiss chard and escarole and red lettuce, chives, dill, parsley. these babies are getting a nutritious variety. not to mention all of the hummus i eat. garlic up the ass. so, you’re welcome, parents of tiny tiny babies, for your future worldly eaters that may or may not also love coffee.
on a different front, an update about parenting a two child family, for anyone sadistically curious. yesterday, ruth attacked greg with such viciousness she slapped his glasses clear off of his face. why? he wouldn’t let her play with a stapler. i had to use all of my restraint not to reach over and let her have it. luckily, the double standard inherent in that reaction was not lost on me, even in my fog of outrage and disgust (dear bill cosby, give me the strength to not become my mother. amen). plus, i was holding the baby. “she wasn’t like this before joel was born, was she?” i asked greg afterward. “i don’t think so,” he said. so, ruth has become a violent parent-abuser in retaliation for her brother’s birth. what is the solution? how to get through to her? we dunno. we keep trying things. but we dunno. maybe super nanny has some tips?
despite this, there is a time at the end of the day, when ruth is thankfully unconscious, no doubt gathering strength for the havoc she will reek upon waking, and the baby is asleep, when the tension finally begins to dissipate, that can feel like contentment. that humming feeling that fills the torso and vibrates through the limbs when i can hear them both snoring serenely and my body is splayed out, finally released from its work. it feels like happiness. and if it feels like it, so it is. however fleeting. however fragile. those moments are like a break in the clouds of everyday living. the true nature of our lives right now. people see us with our two young kids and give us such unguarded looks of longing, of sentimentality. they even say, “i wish we still had little ones,” voices choked with desire. that’s how we know. this is indeed the pinnacle of our lives, however laughable it can seem sometimes. make no mistake. this is….as good as it gets.