My first move, of course, was to determine the source, all while not letting on that anything was amiss. “Look at you!” I said as if being handed a great gift. But really, there’s nothing scarier than watching a toothless infant cackle with blood caked around her lips. After a few moments of pure terror, I was relieved (relieved!) to discover that I was the one bleeding. My right nipple, such a brave warrior through months of endless feedings, had finally cracked. And I along with it.
Last week during an otherwise unremarkable blood-free nursing session, Frida began laughing at the empty hallway just outside of our bedroom door. Every time I gently turned her head back to the meal at hand, she rolled away, happily gazing and giggling at whatever Victorian ghost had chosen that exact moment to reveal itself. “Not today!” I said out loud for good measure to anyone listening, “keep it invisible!” My methods might be foolish, but I stand by them.
In the early days of parenting, I would rock Frida for hours in her nursery, wondering how many generations of women had done the exact same thing in the exact same room. If any of those good-intentioned spirits are now planning on entertaining her I’ll need a full backstory first.