Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bri's Meme

Again that word meme. Even though I know the pronunciation is different than the Turkish word, I still feel like I wrote Bri's Breast.

Speaking of meme, an aside. In Turkish, I know of two ways to say 'breastfeed.' One is the more widely used meme vermek (literally 'give the breast') and the other is emzirmek ('nurse'), which is the more formal word, used by doctors and medicine bottles. I've also heard "Emiyor mu? ('Is he sucking?)," asked when someone enters the room where I'm nursing, which I find to be a rather stupid question to ask of someone with her shirt pulled up and a baby's face in her breast. But I digress from my digression. When LE was first born, my mother-in-law always used 'meme vermek.' Whenever LE made a sound, no matter who all was in the room (and there often tended to be a slew of relatives around), she would start going "He's hungry! He's hungry! Give him the breast! Give him the breast!" My mother-in-law rarely says anything once. Perhaps she's used to everyone ignoring her. Or perhaps everyone ignores her because she witters on endlessly, repeating things all the time. Anyway, at some point she stopped shouting about my breast in mixed company. She started being wry. Or trying to, anyway. Now, whenever LE makes a sound (or does the much more subtle action of grabbing my breasts or shoving his face into them), someone invariably goes "What's wrong with him?" and someone else goes, "He's bored/hungry/tired/he wants me/whatever," and my mother-in-law goes, "Başka bir şey istiyor (he wants something else)," meaning LE wants my breast. Then she looks around the room wryly to make sure everyone got her clever reference. "Başka bir şey istiyor," she says several more times, looking wryly into each person's face to make sure no one missed her clever reference to what apparently has become a shameful habit of LE's.

For some reason I find this intensely annoying, though perhaps it's just because it's so predictable. But I can't help but wonder, why is it shameful to mention my breast in front of her own husband and son, or in front of other women, when the word 'breast' is clearly embedded in a phrase that refers to the fairly mundane act of my son getting some nourishment, and why was it not shameful in the first three months of LE's life, and if it's so awfully shameful to say meme, why not just say emzirmek? Unanswerable mysteries, I'm afraid. Perhaps it's just that she has so few opportunities to be wry. Again and again and again.

So here’s the meme (not breast) from Bri over at Unwellness.

The Rules
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share 6 non-important things/quirks about your kid
4. Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the fun begin!

And here are LE's quirks, at least the six best ones I could think of. Either he's very quirky or I have nothing else to do during the day than notice and encourage his idiosyncrasies:

1) The boy is a dancing fool. Starting from about eight months, whenever he hears anything like music, he starts rocking out. At first it was so subtle that I wasn't even sure it was dancing, where he sort of hunched and un-hunched his back in a sitting position. So I tried turning the music off and on again, and sure enough, he was dancing. He gets a sort of glazed look in his eye, stops whatever he's doing, and gets his freak on. His repertoire of moves has expanded over the last three months to include head-bobbing and shaking, swaying, jumping, and bouncing up and down on his butt. Anything works, from proper music to advertisement jingles to rhythmic clapping or snapping. He even pretty much dances to the beat these days.

2) LE has inherited, to some extent, my grandmother's thumbs. This means that his thumbs easily and painlessly bend backwards to lie almost flat on his wrists. Many times I have gotten his wiggly little hands into a sleeve only to find that his thumbs bent back and didn't make it, giving me quite a start and thinking I had pulled his thumbs off. This bodes well for his future bar chats of showing off various gross body tricks.

3) LE has started begging for food like a dog, whether he's particularly hungry or not. If someone has food, he wants it. Perhaps I started this by feeding him bits from the table while he was crawling around on the floor because I thought it was funny when he ate like a dog. I should have known from my experience with dogs that this is a bad thing to teach. Now, if anyone's eating, he pulls himself up on their legs and jumps up and down giggling and shouting. Last week at our playgroup, the mothers were sitting on sofas balancing plates of snacks on our knees while we talked and watched the babies. LE didn't even limit himself to me for begging. He went to other mothers, tapping their legs, giggling, and trying to snatch things from their plates. Nothing to do but pop bits of food into his mouth.

4) A less cute habit is that as soon as his diaper comes off, LE grabs his bits. Rather violently. I first saw this when he was about three months old, and I was letting him kick around naked after a bath. I went off to fetch his clothes and when I came back, he was silent and looking shocked and disturbed because he'd gotten his bits caught in one of those early baby death grips, where they can grab but not necessarily let go. Now, he pulls and twists them. I would think it must hurt, but he doesn't seem to notice. He has drawn blood more than once. At first, I tried to stop him, but then I quit making a fuss thinking maybe it was my fuss that was encouraging him to do this. But he still does it, though less violently. Now I only stop him if he has poop on there. It makes him really mad when I stop him, often resulting in more poop-spreading that I care for. His foreskin, as it turns out, is very stretchy. Won't he just kill me if he reads this when he's older? Hehe.

5) Interestingly, LE has started yawning when someone else yawns. For some reason, I was really curious when he would start doing this, wondering if was an instinct or a social behavior. I guess it must be social. If he doesn't really have to yawn, he still makes the sound-- a big sigh with a 'Hummm' at the end.

6) And now, time to learn if I can attach pictures into here. LE makes this face on command:
It's called his Uggy Face. If you tell him to be uggy, this is what he does. Very uggy indeed.

So that's six. It was hard to limit myself to this. As per the rules, I'm going to tag someone else, Siobhan at realmotherhood. However, as usual I'll have to bend the 4th rule, because I only know one other blogger with a kid that Mrs. Bri hasn't tagged already.

My 90 minutes of Mommy Time, conveniently the length of a football match and broken up by two nursing sessions, has come to an end.

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