So, my family and I moved over the summer and I literally have not seen my breast pump in months. There’s a good chance I may need it again someday, but as a non-breastfeeding mom of a toddler, it’s delightfully far from my mind most of the time. I had a love-hate relationship with device, and I understood what it was and how to use it and why it'w as beneficial. I can’t imagine how confused my son must have felt when I used it in his presence. I mean, what could a baby be thinking when mom uses a breast pump?
I have a few guesses, of course, especially now that my baby is a toddler and I am more familiar with his personality. Typically, if I was pumping in front of my son, I was preemptively trying to accommodate a missed feeding that was coming up. As in, my work schedule that day was looking to be completely impossible, or my partner and I were going to a wedding while grandparents took care of our little one or, occasionally, I was trying to remedy a problem (as in our few-weeks old baby needed more nourishment so I was told to feed him and then pump immediately after). Of course, I also took advantage of my breast pump when I was fighting mastitis and my son wasn’t terribly hungry.
Whatever the reason — and trust me when I say that breastfeeding will provide you with more than a few of them — the breast pump was a means to an end, and a way to get from one feeding to the next. Here’s what I imagine he was thinking about it when that thing was in use, because I'm pretty convinced he had some feelings.
“Um, I’m Right Here, Mom”
As if I could ever forget, my sweet son. I understand it’s probably super-confusing to watch all of this breast pumping go down, but trust me, I know you’re here. I know this is a super obscure reference, but it reminds me of Alan Rickman’s assistant in Love Actually who tells him, “It’s for you. It’s all for you.”
(Only, I’m not doing it seductively nor am I wearing devil horns, nor am I as horrible as that character, because ugh.)
“This Is Making Me Hungry”
Fair point. I’m sure if I saw my own favorite food shooting through a machine and staring at me from inside plastic bottles, I’d be a little stirred, too.
“What’s It Saying?”
The weh-wah sound of my pump motor always sounded like “red rum” to me. Seeing as a baby isn't likely to know about rum or the color red (and has never seen The Shining before, I'm assuming) I can only speculate the words he may have heard.
“Who Are You And What Did You Do To My Mom?”
Someday, you’ll understand, son. Who knows what kind of cyborg technology will exist at that point, but consider this the first of many wearable tech items that you’ll be introduced to in your lifetime.
“Wait, What Are You Going To Do With All That Liquid Gold Now?”
Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere except the fridge. Unless, of course, I spill some of it while unscrewing the bottle from the pump horns, which is known to happen sometimes.
“Is That What I Look Like When I Eat?”
Nope, you look like perfection in a tiny pastel hat. This machine, on the other hand, does not. It looks like a dystopian bra dreamed up by some evil alien doctor.
“That Can’t Be Comfortable”
Thank you for the sympathy, little guy. To be fair, nothing is as comfortable as a swaddle, so your baseline might be a little skewed on this one.
"Do You Need A Hug, Mom?"
Yes, yes I do. Sadly, however, it’ll have to wait until these rubber flanges are off, and we’re nowhere near electrical cords. In the meantime, I’ll settle for smelling your head, because that smell is what dreams are made of.
“I Need Your Attention Immediately”
Of course you do. Is there any chance I can meet your needs without taking my hands off these bottles?