I am pumping. Again. I will not walk you through the lastima that is a breastpump because I’m not a monster. With a disgusting lactation cookie in one hand and a water bottle in the other, I resign myself to the dark blue chair in the corner of our bedroom and turn off my dignity and turn on the machine. Its hum chants, “Press on! Press on! Press on!”
What will I do with these 15 minutes? Will I scour Facebook? Read a heavy article about gun control? Try to write a letter? Numbly stare down at my nipples? Seethe because men don’t have to worry about this part of childcare? There is too much to do. There is really nothing to do. It’s pressure. It’s paralysis. I spend the 15 minutes thinking about how best to spend 15 minutes.
Before I disconnect my breasts from tubes, before I head back to the babe, it peeks out at me - my husband’s pajama corner. Flannel pants and long sleeve tee sloppily rolled into a tube of fabric, tucked into the nook between his bed and his nightstand, whispering, “See me! Don’t see me! Am I worth seeing?”
Bashful pjs. Banished pjs. Tortured-soul pjs hoping not to inconvenience anyone with their baseness. It’s their insecurity that gets me most. Old and frayed and possibly borderline suicidal. They inform me my husband is tired. That he is trying to make my life easier. That he shops for clothes with a lastima-filled heart and picks the ones who need him most.
I mercifully pull the pajamas up from their dungeon, shake off the dog hair, and lay them flat on our bed. I invite them to take up space and to keep me company the next time I pump. Fluffing his pillow, I tell my husband, “Rest. Relax. Thank you.”
Next 15 minutes I’ll spend online ordering him some new garb. The most unabashed jammies I can find.
p.s. The shirt had like four loose threads and a hole. Kill me.