Baby Love

A friend of mine recently posted a link to this article from the Metro West Daily News on one of my message boards. I thought it was so cute and sweet and perfectly appropos for how I feel, I had to share it here. :)

Berry: Baby love is all a nursing mother needs
By Julie Berry / Local Columnist
Wednesday, January 19, 2005

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” chastely explains, “If you’re breastfeeding, this may unconsciously be satisfying your need for intimacy.”

Unconsciously, my eye. I don’t need sex. Not lately. I get all the sensual pleasure I need from my baby.

I realize I may be bursting your illusions, gentlemen, but your charms cannot compete with 15 pounds of downy-soft cuddly gummy smiley stinky sweetness.

You can make your come-hither looks all day, and if I’m not tired, and you haven’t been annoying me all day, I may come hither. Or not. But a face-squishing dimply baby smile will summon me without fail.

My baby has only two waking modes: pure angelic adoration of Mama, and ravenous, shirt-tearing lust for Mama.

Given the choice of who I want to make out with, hands down, you lose.

You’re stubbly. Baby is smooth. You’re tough as gristle. Baby is soft as pudding. You get food between your teeth. Baby has no teeth. You stink. Baby stinks, too, but even then, it’s kind of nice. When you stink, you just stink.

And let me talk a little bit about baby stink.

Of all the soft sweet parts on a baby, the softest and sweetest is the neck, which has an odor all its own. When I start smooching chubby cheeks and snorting big tokes of baby scent, I always end up in the neck. I’m not the only thing that ends up there. Sweat, spit-up milk, lint, shampoo, and slobber all follow gravity down into those little crevices.

The resulting odor is a heady bouquet of cottage cheese, bile, dirty socks, and Johnson & Johnson’s. I could eat it right up. Sometimes, in a frenzy of animal passion, I try to. (I suspect this is the true origin of the vampire myth. Women with bloodshot eyes, unkempt hair, sucking necks and saying “I vant to eat you up!” — they were postpartum mothers.)

My husband finds this appetite of mine a little startling. “Ooh, you’re so stinky, I love it, you’re so yummy!” I say. He pretends perplexity. (Or is it jealousy? Alas, probably not.)

Are we not mammals? Don’t you observe how your dogs and cats inhale, with deep interest and pleasure, every organic fluid they can find? From any orifice they can reach? Haven’t you ever smelled a pair of your stinky socks that fascinated you because they were so stinky, and you took another whiff, just because?

We are mammals, and never more so than when we’re lactating. (Duh, look at the word.) Somewhere inside us are sensors, dulled by the grinding of evolution’s wheel, that know the pups in our litter, our mates, and our enemies by their scent, and can decipher the aromatic language of bodily secretions.

As a mom of four, my sniffer is highly trained. I can tell which kid is which, or when a kid is coming down with a cold. I can even smell a fib.

One thing we were probably better at sniffing out eons ago was when our mate was in heat. Thus primeval man was probably a lot less frustrated than modern man. He knew when to try. (Primeval woman got to be a good, fast runner.) When primeval woman had a new baby, primeval man hooked up with his buddies for a six-month hunting trip-roaming the wilderness, complaining about their wives, and killing wooly mammoths by whacking them in the shins with clubs.

This, you’ll note, is a male tradition that has adapted to survive through the millennia. But I’ll save that thought for another day.

The point is that baby love trumps grown-up love every time. Now, I realize that by putting this down in black and white, I may be skating that fine line in your minds between “this lady loves her baby” and “this lady is a sicko pervert.”

I call as my witness any woman who’s had a baby and snuzzled it. This probably explains why, unlike many people, I’ve never adopted the habit of calling my husband “babe” or “baby.” It’s wishful thinking. I know better.

So with Diana Ross & the Supremes, I sing, “Baby love, my baby love, I need ya, oh, how I need ya . . .” For about the first 18 months. And then it’s, “Baby, baby, baby, where did our love go?”

At which point the adult males of the species begin to look a little more interesting. When comparing the charms of the grown-up man and the 18-month old one, usually the grown-up is slightly better behaved. But that may just be evolution, trying to trick me into making another baby.

I smell a rat.

Copyright 2005, Julianna Berry. Used by permission of author.
Julie Berry

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband dearly, but I have to agree with the author that a sweet baby has an allure about him/her that simply can’t be rivaled.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to snorts some tokes of baby neck goodness. ;)

Happy belated Valentine’s Day, everyone. :)