Festive Nursing

As I write this, I can see my breasts shimmering.  They are gleaming at me from below; happy and sparkling.  You see, there is glitter on my nipples.

I should probably explain...it is the festive season; where everything that was once muted and monotone comes to life with vibrance and sparkle.  With a lot of sparkle.

Our Christmas tree takes pride of place in our lounge and is adorned with miniature sparkling teddy bears, sparkling baubles and sparkling stars.  We have sparkly Christmas cards hanging, which seem to scatter a snow-like sprinkling of shimmer every time they are knocked or somebody happens to walk past.

We have the craft box open.  Permanently.  Because at this time of year, there is always something to decorate, something to make, something to create.  And no piece of festive artwork would be complete without every Clean Freak’s nemesis: Glitter.

Now, as my husband will tell you, I am no Clean Freak.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  My house is a beautiful homage to my head.  It is a perfect representation of what rests between my ears...and what rests there is far from neat and orderly.  It is ‘free’ and ‘spirited’.  It is ‘flighty‘ and ‘blurred’.  My husband knows from what is left out; from what is moved or opened, or somehow misplaced, not only what little bean and I have done that day, but the order that we did it in.  He tells me that I leave a trail of disorder behind me wherever I happen to go, so a little added sparkle really doesn’t phase me…

When we add to this tidal wave of disorder, a toddler with the same genetic make-up as her mama, we reach a state of destruction that any Clean Freak would turn from and run.  I like to call it Creative Freedom.  Because when we loosen our in-built chains of control and order, little by little, we start to see real magic.  And isn’t magic what Christmas is about?

I saw the magic in little bean’s eyes as her little hands unscrewed the lid from the pot of glitter on the shelf at the craft shop.  I watched as she poked her tiny fingers into the shimmer, pulling them out as if covered in magical dust.  I also watched as the pot slipped through her now-silver fingers and a thick cloud of sparkles filled the air.  I watched as the cloud fell, like bright snowflakes, settling onto EVERYTHING within a two mile radius.  I saw little bean’s delight, not dismay, at this beautiful mess.

So after we had made our apologies, bought the glitter and left the shop, we walked, hand in hand, back to the car.  And the glitter, just like a happy little trail of magic, followed us every step of the way.  Once upon a time, even though I am far from being a Clean Freak, I wouldn’t have been overly enthralled about this.  But our children give us an opportunity to see the world through new eyes...an opportunity to see the world with grace and with humour...

  • There was glitter under my feet and all over my expensive new boots.  But this meant that I made sparkly footprints wherever I went for weeks.
  • There was glitter on the car seat, on the steering wheel and the car’s ceiling.  But I’d taken my husband’s car on this particular trip...
  • There was bath-resistant glitter all over my daughter for days.  But this meant that every time she caught her reflection, she would stop and dance to see the glitter shimmering in the light.

You see, there is magic in cheap glitter.  There is magic in festive junk.  And when sparkly festive decorations meet little hands, little hands will inevitably meet a little mouth.  And sooner or later, that little mouth will be asking for mama milk...with a side of sparkle.

So I am writing this with my breasts gleaming at me from below and with glitter on my nipples.  And these sparkling breasts are not air-brushed and set pride-of-place in a shop window or up high on a 10 foot billboard, as the usual glimmering cleavage seems to be.  These breasts are normal breasts.  They are normal milk-making, baby-feeding breasts.

Because glitter get’s everywhere, much like the ‘magic’ of breastfeeding.  I’ve said before that breastfeeding is like a Milk Storm...it is powerful and progressive.  It is a strangely wonderful mix of a magical yet totally normal phenomenon.  It is Everyday Magic; mundane, biological, simple.  

This year will be little bean’s third Christmas and therefore, the third year that I will have spent the whole of December sporting sparkly nipples.  My magically festive nursing experience is even more glittery this year, as there is added bling to nursing an inquisitive and creative toddler.  But to my daughter, my breasts are magical all year round.  They are a wonderful mixture of sparkle and comfort; of magic and normalcy.

So I am writing this with both my daughter and my breasts happy and sparkling.  You see, there is glitter on my nipples...

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