Well, it happened. She bit me.
Not that hard, and I'm about 99.9% sure it wasn't on purpose - she was almost done nursing and smiled at me and then absent-mindedly latched back on with her teeth (oops) - but WOWZA, that hurts. I can hardly imagine what it's like if the kid takes a big ol' purposeful chomp down on the girls, which have been doing yeoman's work for the past eight months.
I took her off, said firmly, "OUCH. NO." And then we were done nursing for that session. It happened again the next time, and we did the same thing again - OUCH. NO. DONE. - and, since then, she hasn't bit again. On the other hand, I have totally stopped my half-dozing during nursing sessions and am, instead, keeping watch like a prison guard who's heard rumors about a jailbreak.
What do you think about taking an eight-month old on a camping trip? My idea of 'camping' is 'Motel 6,' but my brother-and-sister-in-law are coming to visit, and they love camping, and there are a lot of cool places to camp around here. Plus they have all the stuff for it which means we can try it for a night without investing a bunch of money in items for which we have no storage room anyway. But wouldn't she get cold? And she moves around so much during the night that I can't imagine a blanket would stay on her for more than ten minutes. I'm not sure one sleep sack will do it. (The last time we took her on anything like this, we stayed in a "cottage" which we later termed, with no affection whatsoever, "the shit shack," and she woke up every 45 minutes screaming because it was so freaking cold in there. I have Post-Shit-Shack-Stress-Disorder from this.)
Last night, I was with a family as their 64-year-old husband and dad died from a lung disorder. He had been diagnosed some three years ago, and he was ready. It was time. They took him off all the machines, and we waited with him as he began to breathe for himself, long, labored breaths, getting slower and slower, until finally he stopped. There were a few startling moments along the way, and doctors and nurses hovering in case anything went wrong, and all the while it occurred to me that his work of dying was not so different than the work of giving birth. A lot of frantic hurrying, interspersed with moments of silence and breathing and people waiting, holding your hand and telling you, "it's okay, you can do this," and I watched his three kids as they held his hands, and I went home and put my daughter to bed, and I thought:
someone told me once that, when you meet your child, you are meeting the person who will hold your hand when you die.
There are a lot of reasons that doesn't always happen, of course. But many times, it does. And it struck me that the holiness of both moments - birth and death - are deeply connected, and terrifying, and peaceful, and we are very rarely, truly, prepared for either one.
I realize this seems to have taken a turn completely different from where I started this post, but if she bites again, maybe (just maybe, no guarantees) I'll be able to keep it in some perspective.