To be filed under Things I Never Thought I’d Be Blogging About At My Advanced Age: Breastfeeding.
Specifically, I have to tell you something about back when I WAS breastfeeding. You know, a dozen years ago. I have teenagers; let me tell you about my breast milk! That won’t embarrass anyone AT ALL. But it’s germaine to the topic at hand, which I solemnly swear to circuitously reach in due time. Probably.
More specifically: When Chickadee was a wee floppy baby, I breastfed her, and I also pumped now and again because I truly bought the hype that formula was THE DEVIL, as young mothers who know everything about parenting are sometimes wont to believe. Breast milk was BEST and DAMMIT I was going to give my baby only the best so that she could grow up to have no problems ever. [Sidebar: HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I want to grab Young Mir and shake her until her eyeballs rattle.] So I nursed, and I pumped, and eventually Chickie went on a nursing strike and I ran out of frozen breast milk and ZOMG I GAVE HER FORMULA. Clearly this is why her life isn’t perfect.
This is also why—when I was pregnant with Monkey—I insisted that we buy a freezer. A freezer I could fill with breast milk. This seemed totally logical at the time.
My ex and I shopped and compared and did our research, and eventually we purchased a monster of an upright non-frost-free freezer, and we put that bad boy into the basement, ready to receive all of the “liquid gold” (it’s okay, you can imagine slapping me; I don’t blame you) I could possibly pump. And surely I would never, ever run out of milk for my preshus baybee even if he refused to nurse at some point.
Well. Lemme tell you, had I not forcibly weaned toddler Monkey when I did, I suspect he would still be nursing to this day. That child loved him some boob. And I started pumping once a day, every day, from the day he was born. I filled that upright freezer with little bags of boob-juice and Monkey, for his part, pretty much refused to take a bottle… ever. I kept at it until the freezer was packed and eventually I stopped pumping because it was just getting ridiculous.
I think Monkey was maybe two when I VERY SADLY one day cleaned out the freezer. I threw away all of the little bags. I may have said MOOOO several times while I did it.
This left us with a handy-dandy upright freezer that could then be filled with things like… ice cream! And family packs of ground beef! Exciting things like that.
That’s all back story actually about the freezer, not about my boobs. The freezer was purchased 13 years ago, is the point. And while it was originally purchased for one specific purchase, it’s terribly handy to have a spare freezer. Why, I moved that freezer down here to Georgia and plunked it down in the garage—because we no longer have a basement—and despite the fact that the garage routinely gets up to about 120 degrees, I’m still able to do things like, say, buy a quarter of a cow. Also when ice cream is on buy-one-get-one, that’s a good time to have a freezer, too. Oh! And the garden, of course. Because I am a Canning Wuss it’s VERY useful to have a freezer once we get to Tomato Sauce Season.
The freezer has been a real trooper for us. And although I only wrote about it once, I’m pretty sure that the ol’ “oh my God the freezer door was open overnight!” crapfest has actually happened TWICE. That’s… y’know… user error. Not the freezer’s fault. And sure, we’ve had to turn the thermostat down a little bit more every year, but it’s HOT out there in the garage, and it still WORKS, mostly.
[Here we be a good time for a musical interlude. Perhaps a little ditty like, "You're Some Good Storage, Mr. Freezer."]
This weekend, Otto cleaned out the garage. When times are tough, Otto is wont to wander out to the garage and rearrange things. He can spend hours out there and when he’s done it all looks the same to me, but it makes him happy. (This is not to disparage Otto in any way; I am pretty unobservant, and I have no idea where anything goes in the garage.) And like I was saying, this is pretty much Otto’s go-to coping mechanism in times of need.
Just to give you an idea of what life is currently like, Otto went out there on Saturday and when he was done, you could eat off the garage floor. Remember how I said I normally can’t tell what he’s done in the garage? He reorganized the entire thing. It involved shelves! And pegboard! Bins! DUSTING! It’s a thing of beauty.
A couple of days later, I came home with groceries and noticed that… there was a puddle under the freezer in the immaculately-clean garage. That seemed bad. So I opened the freezer, and the light didn’t go on. And some of the stuff in front seemed kind of… squishy.
I of course assumed that the freezer had finally died, but after some investigation later that evening—long after I’d unpacked the entire contents of the freezer into a bunch of coolers—it seemed that the freezer cord had been jostled during Otto’s clean-a-thon, and because said cord was plugged into an outlet that is not so much “in the wall” as it is “protruding from the wall like a drunken, electrical tongue,” somehow this had cut power to the freezer.
So now the freezer is defrosting at the edge of the garage because you’re supposed to fully defrost non-frost-free models every year, anyway, and it’s been… ummmm… longer than that (read: there are icebergs inside the freezer). After it’s empty we’ll clean it and plug it back in and fill it up. Except, now Otto is saying he thinks maybe it’s time to replace it, because it’s growing a little finicky in its old age, plus keeping it in the moist southern garage means the seal around the door is starting to dry out and peel up.
I think I want a chest freezer. But I also think it would be dumb not to plug this one back in and see if it can limp along for another few years.
And then there’s also the issue that once I started unloading it and prying food items out of the shelf-bergs I started finding things like Ziploc baggies of tomato sauce labeled 2009. Which pretty much makes me think I shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions about ANYTHING, really.