Introducing African Baby

[Disclaimer: this post contains material that some viewers may find offensive. Specifically, those who view breasts as sexual objects rather than the large teats that they are.]

Meet African Baby (otherwise referred to as Sir A).

Oh wait, that’s not the right picture. Let’s try again.

Hmm. Third time lucky?

Ah, there he is. From memory I’d done a quick pull-up of my top as he’d just sucked himself back to sleep. It doesn’t seem we have any recent pictures of him feeding, but the positions in both of the ones above are very common sights in our house. Or at Mass. Or anywhere else we happen to be.

The main difference is that I actually wear clothes.

African Baby takes exception to this. He firmly believes (due to his African roots) that I’m actually a Himba woman (albino, maybe?) who is desecrating her birthright by covering myself up. Well, maybe he doesn’t care about birthrights, but he does care about unrestricted access to his mim. (For some reason Lord B started calling breastfeeding/milk/breasts mim and it’s stuck. It was also one of African baby’s first couple of words.)

As a Himba woman, my breasts are obviously supposed to be ready and available for a quick snack whenever Sir A feels it’s necessary. If I haven’t adequately covered up after feeding him, and then start walking around carrying him on my hip, he actually does manage to re-latch. If I think he’s finished (he’s climbed down and is running off, for example – fairly strong message, you’d think) and do myself back up, he squawks in protest and attempts to jump back in before it’s too late. “I am African Baby”, he says, “and there’s some hunter-gatherer tribe in Africa whose chidders suckle, on average, every three seconds (can’t remember the actual figure, but it’s less than 15 minutes, I’m sure), therefore, I must too!”

(On a tangent, that’s true innocence, that is. Breasts are entirely for feeding and comforting chidders, in his book. He can’t see anything wrong with Mummy wandering around the house, the church, town – I came across a picture of Himba women in a city, incidentally; looked rather incongruous – wherever, with her boobs hanging out to save him the trouble of having to ask and/or move fabric.)

African Baby is African for other reasons, too. He doesn’t believe in being apart from Mummy. Very occasionally he could be driven to sleep, but for most of his life it’s been wearing to sleep, or not sleeping at all. To be a true African, one must be constantly carried until one’s mother’s arms fall off. A blanket on the back is an acceptable alternative,

only Mummy doesn’t really like to do that. Not enough support for her pansy back.

Something like this is preferable:

Or we could just be lazy and Western and use an Ergo. That’s that thing he’s in above. There’ll be another picture shortly.

A few months ago, African Baby decided that Daddy was actually not so bad after all, and he’d go to sleep on him too. Mummy’s back ululated Africanly in relief. While it’s nice being able to do squats with a quarter of one’s weight on one’s back – I’ve got pretty amazing thighs – it’s actually quite tiring and gets rather sore having a baby on one’s back for a couple of hours at a stretch. Twice a day. Or more.

These days, the quickest way to get African Baby to sleep is a walk with Daddy, which makes Mummy’s life a lot easier if Daddy is around, since the only way she can consistently get African baby to sleep now is to vacuum. Makes for a nice, clean house, but vacuuming twice every day is just a tad ridiculous. Anyway, they look so cute together.

How adorable is that? Must’ve been a weekend. And now I can get some important other stuff done, like forking up grass and cutting down fern trees.

The other reason African Baby is African is because he actually is. Black African only one 64th or something, but still, it counts! Clearly it’s on his father’s side. That’s where they all get the curls and dark eyes. And sinful eyelashes. I gnash my teeth in envy. African Baby has the darkest skin of all of us. Hardly Himba coloured, but much closer than, say, his cousins (though they have a bit of Jamaican or something in there – didn’t do them much good). Or me for that matter, but at least I tan 🙂 Plus both his parents were born in Africa, and we can trace the family name back to 16- or 17-something in a German immigrant to South Africa called Rodbert or similar, which is more than most Kiwis can manage 😛

Acts like an African, has the blood, and kiiiinda looks the part? Must BE African. Sometimes I think I should moved to Namibia and join the Himba tribe just to make African Baby feel at home and save myself multiple clothing adjustments a day. It would make taking care of the children much easier in other ways too. Takes a village, and all that. But then I’d have no broadband or computer and what would happen to my blog?

4 Responses to “Introducing African Baby”
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  1. […] Sir A’s nicknames are even more convoluted. Technically he’s Ambrose Patrick, which means Eternal Nobleman. Cool huh? Lord B couldn’t say Ambrose when Ambrose was born, being only 17 months, so he called him Amu. Like emu, only with an Ah. Actually not. Oh well. This stuck for a while, but then we got bored of it and started improvising. Amu became Mu, which became Mooch, Moochie, Smoochie, Smooch. And somehow Mumi. Which is mostly what he is now. Sometimes Mumi Sweets. Occasionally still Smoochie (he does reallllly like to kiss, and not always a peck – can be a bit unnerving when one’s 18mo comes at one with open mouth and lolling tongue!) Very occasionally Ambrose. Oh an Little Love or Littlie sometimes. And how could I forget African Baby?? […]

  2. […] one set of nap needs to work around, and could move about the house freely when Lord B was awake. African Baby had other ideas. As time went on it got harder and harder to get him to sleep. I rocked his pram […]

  3. […] Finally now he only has one sleep and it’s easy to get him there, by a quick feeding down. This post has a few more […]

  4. […] of life at present, but I’ll try to chuck something up at least once a month. Try. Remember African Baby? Lady S is African Baby number 2. Deliciously sweet, but oh such a cling-on. I’m hoping that […]

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