Posted by: Ingrid | August 25, 2011

And that’s why God invented babysitters

I fondly remember the days of taking child birth and baby care classes from the carefree days of yesteryear when Isaac was just kicking around inside.  I found them informative, relaxing (okay, except when you are learning CPR or watching videos of parents whose children drowned in the pool or something), and a glimpse into a world I didn’t know much about.  I was fascinated at how small a newborn’s stomach is and how it grows over the next few weeks.  It seemed almost magical that I would be able to feed this baby growing inside, that I would be the sole source of nourishment for the first 6 months.  I took very seriously everything we talked about in the breastfeeding class because it was just so crucial.

Enter breastfeeding basics round two.

For some reason I thought it would be smart to bring my two-year-old to the class.  I know, I know.  Stop laughing.  I though that he would sort of hang out, and I knew a lot of information this time around but the class was free and hey, I might have forgotten something in the whole two months Isaac has been weaned.  I remember asking if I could bring my two-year-old, but I’m pretty sure the lady on the phone was picturing a child who sat and colored and ate snacks.  Not my child.

Picture this.  Nice nutritionist breastfeeding expert is standing at the front of the conference table with a lovely posterboard display of nursing holds and information.  Manual and electric pumps and bottles are on the table and there is a first time mom and a mom of two who has never gotten breastfeeding to work for her and is unconvinced that she really wants to try it again.

Enter Ingrid and toddler.

Behold the next 45 minutes.

Expert: So remember that however long you choose to breastfeed it will be highly beneficial to your baby.

Isaac grabs a carton of chalk, sticks one piece in his mouth and hits the chalkboard at the back of the room with the other.  I jump up to supervise.  He proceeds to break the chalk by dropping it on the floor and then begins coloring on the chair in front of him.  I intervene.  Isaac runs away from me, stopping to pull a sheaf of papers from the table and fling them into the air like so much giant confetti.  We make two full laps around the table before I catch him.

Expert:  This is what is called a cradle hold.

Isaac, who has been eating a snack at the table while crashing toy cars together, crushes the crackers on the table, gets up, runs to the door and finds he can open it.  I chase him into the hallway and bring him back, screaming.  I set him down.  He flings himself to the floor and begins banging his head on the tile and yelling.  We step out into the hallway, oh so calmly, and I announce through gritted teeth that we are staying in this class and not going anywhere.  We go back in.  Isaac discovers that he can make noise by jumping up and down on the scale.  We run three laps around the conference table and he steals one woman’s notes and pencil.

Expert:  Here is the contact information for our lactation consultants.

Isaac rounds the conference table again and swoops down on the breast pump display.  Before I know it, the manual pump is over his face, gas mask style, and I am not sure whether I should laugh or cry.

It truly was 45 minutes of just that bad.  I am pretty sure both moms in the room were thinking: Forget breastfeeding.  Why did I ever stop paying attention to my birth control?

And I learned that there are some things a toddler just doesn’t need to do, like take a refreshing course on breastfeeding basics.  Next time there will be no continuing education for Isaac, just a babysitter.



  1. this post made me laugh! my toddler would be doing the same thing. It is so hard to go anywhere with a toddler these days!

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