Many years ago my wife brought #2 into the world. #1 was 13 months old. We lived in a 700 sq. ft. apartment at the seminary I was studying at. We were really young parents at the time not knowing what we were doing. Sure we had baby before, but we didn’t have experience raising two little ones. My wife was struggling with breast feeding one while parenting the other. Those of you who just had your first child….imagine all that you are going through except with a 13 month old wandering around the house and occasionally throwing hissy fits to get attention.
Back then trying to get our kids to sleep was the greatest challenge. We had no problems letting them cry and sleep training them but our apartment and over parenting caused us to do some strange things. For example, ever since #1 was born, once the kids went down to bed, we never never never flushed the toilet. We were afraid it would wake them up. When we watched tv or a movie at night I would move the sofa two feet away from the tv with the volume very low and captions on. Every movie was like a foreign movie with subtitles.
The reason I share this with you is because this noise reduction exercise we did left us in a dilemma. How do you put #1 to sleep while taking care of #2. Putting #1 to sleep, back then, took us a long time. She hated it. Normally we would go military style and sleep train, but my wife wanted to be sensitive to the fact that she was dealing with a new member of our family at such a young age. So one night (like every night) my wife was putting #1 to bed while I was watching tv.
#2 starts to cry. I knew my wife was still trying to put #1 to bed so I had to get #2 to stop otherwise #1 would wake up or be delayed in her sleep. Nothing would calm her down. I tried the pacifier. I checked her diaper. I tried to whisper a song into her ear. I had to do something. We were so sleep deprived and emotionally drained I didn’t want to prolong the time my wife would have to be with #1 getting her to sleep. So what did I do?
I whip out my left man boob and let her go at it so she will stop crying in the hopes she would think it was mama time. I don’t know why I did that. I mean I knew she was hungry. My instincts took over and…wow…I can’t believe I actually did that. It was the most awkward, uncomfortable, painful experience of my life. It kind of tickled. It kind of hurt. I was taking one for the team and literally sacrificed my body for my family. How long did this thing go on? Not very long. I couldn’t take it anymore so I took #2 off my breast. She starts screaming. My wife comes in and takes over. She feeds while asking what happened…why #2 was crying on and off.
I proudly smiled and told her what I did for our family. Covering her mouth with one of her hands she laughed shaking her head side to side with #2 on her left boob. She laughed so hard I thought she might drop #2. She was laughing thinking to herself, “I can’t believe you did that!” I was thinking, “I can’t believe you have to do that!”
BTW…if you are wondering where “part 1” of this title is CLICK HERE.