The Zen of Parenting

This is now almost a 3 year old post- but I repost it for those of you in the midst of babydom:

Parenting is so repetitive. I guess that seems obvious, but it isn’t just changing diapers ten times a day. Or how many times you shove a noodle arm into a long sleeve onesie and think “That’s it. I snapped it this time… oh whew! All fingers intact. Excellent.” It’s the sounds that really strike me as oppressively repetative.

The sound of the breast pump is the worst for me. You know how you can see patterns in clouds? Hearing something in a repetitive noise is like that. With my first daughter the sound of my breast pump sounded exactly like “Throw the ball.” It’s weird, but once I heard that, every time I pumped was “Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball….” It was like hanging out with a Labrador.

black labrador
I shall call him… Medela.       Photo by Thijs van der Weide on

It drove me crazy until I just accepted it and got real zen about it. Yes, yes… we should ALL throw the ball, how metaphorically on point.

I used that same breast pump with my second, so it was like meeting an old annoying friend again when I pumped for her. “How ya been old buddy! Yes, yes, throw the ball. I remember!”

Now, with my whatdoyoumeanIhavetodothisagain third, I am using the same brand and style of pump… but not the exact same one. I tried really hard not to hear anything in the noise of this new pump… but I finally did the other day. And of course now I can’t unhear it. What did I hear? “Titty pump.” Isn’t that AWFUL and ridiculously on the nose?! I know it’s my own mind that’s putting this together but Jesus Christ give me “Throw the ball” over that, any day! So my days are spent listening to “Titty pump, titty pump, titty pump, titty pump…” GAH. I gotta find the zen in that one at some point.

So, to return to my Zen place after the annoying sound of my breast pump I repeat my calming mantra from The Great Text. It works every time.

In the great green room there was a telephone and a red ballon

and a picture of

the cow jumping over the moon.

And two little bears, sitting on chairs

And two little kittens and a pair of mittens and a little toy house and a young mouse

And a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush and a quiet old lady, whispering hush.”

Indeed. Whispering hush indeed.

Thus sayeth the Great Text.

7 thoughts on “The Zen of Parenting

  1. Oh gosh, this is hilarious. My kids are 20, 18, 16, almost 15, 13, and 11, but oh how I remember pumping. The crazy thing is that I was just talking about pumping the other day. I used an ancient, cruel, punishing pump for my first maybe 3 kids. It was inherited from my older sister and I was on a budget, so it was the best I could do. The sound it made was like a scraping metalic grating sound that hissed at me. It was AWFUL. It was made by Gerber and all I can say is ‘stick to baby food, Gerber!’ I borrowed a hand pump by Medela for the next kids and I was shocked by the comfort level. Who knew?!

    I now babysit in my home for teachers during the school day, so my pumping days are behind me but I still have the text of ‘Good Night Moon’ memorized. It’s like falling off a bike!

    1. Oh I sympathize- a painful pump is the WORST! Too small flanges tortured me this last time till I figured it out and bought the next size up! Thanks for reading!

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