My oldest son was twenty months old when my second son was born. It was a hard adjustment balancing a young toddler and a newborn. My oldest son was with me twenty-four hours out of the day. He got to experience every aspect of motherhood. I really did not realize he was even paying that much attention until the day that poor Elmo was violated.
My toddler carried this stuffed Elmo with him everywhere. It was a security item that lasted about six months. Elmo became his constant companion when he was sick with a virus and running a high fever the previous spring.
My newborn had a severe case of nipple confusion. I had to have surgery on my breast so he could only nurse on one side. I had to give him formula as a supplement from the first day he was born. Unfortunately, it took three hours just to nurse him. Needless to say I spent much of my days trying to properly nurse a newborn.
The day that I realized how this impacted my older son was a day just like any other. We were both sitting on the couch watching Sesame Street. I was struggling with getting my newborn to latch. My oldest son was sitting next to me with his Elmo doll. We were the only three at home, well, Elmo made us four.
I did not realize how closely my son was watching me. He slowly lifted his shirt, grabbed Elmo by the neck and head, and literally slammed Elmo’s face into his chest. He did not say a word. He just sat there and continued watching Sesame Street.
I did not know whether to burst out laughing or correct my nursing son. I chose to laugh because I could not contain myself any longer. I knew that he did not understand what exactly I was doing but he did know that he thought it was the right thing to do for Elmo.
I am just happy that he never repeated his Elmo nursing, especially in front of his grandparents or other relatives. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then I will pass on that.