My cockapoo, Tuxedo, suffers from many shortcomings, including a satanically-driven affinity for athletic socks. When the doggy angel and satan appear on his shoulders, Tux always listens to the pitch-fork wielding, bug-eyed pug. It’s not until he gets caught mid-chomp at the back of his cage that he shows remorse. But, as we say in the church, nobody said walking this Christian path with four legs would be easy.
I know what you are thinking. What does this have to do with Elie Mae? Give me Elie Mae or I’m not following this blog anymore.
If you know anything about sweet Eliot, you know she does not miss meals. My baby is in the 40th percentile for length and 70th for weight. Her legs could sell Cinnabons.
She will latch onto anything (latching being her strength as a baby). Breast, bottle, Cuban cigar–it doesn’t matter. The nurses in the hospital marveled that Eliot didn’t suffer from even a hint of nipple confusion after birth. I worried that one day we’d find her hanging outside her bassinet from her lips.
Because of Eliot’s sensitive stomach, we had to feed her special formula through a special nipple for the first few months of her life. Enter: that demonic pug.
To prove that he, too, needed special attention, Tuxedo began to lick up any bit of hypoallergenic Similiac that fell on the kitchen floor. Okay, I thought. Fair enough. No cockapoo deserves to have colic.
But it didn’t stop there. I made the mistake of leaving a bottle on the couch after feeding Eliot. The Bible says God always provides a way out of temptation, but Tuxedo missed his chance to flee. He ate Eliot’s slow-flow nipple.
I sighed. It was my fault. I vowed never to leave bottles on the couch again.
But I tell you, when that pug starts speaking lies in Tuxedo’s head…
Another day I ran upstairs with Eliot. I heard rustling downstairs and thought little of it. Tux was probably sniffing the trash.
Yeah, OR he was grabbing a plastic bag out of Eliot’s diaper bag, ripping a hole through it, pulling out her bottles, devouring the attached nipples, and eating the powder formula from a dispenser.
Okay, so Tuxedo preferred bottles and Similac to bowls and Kibbles. But breastmilk?! Really?
Close your eyes while you read this portion, my friends.
It just so happened that as I opened the fridge on a certain un-ominous-seeming day, a bottle of breast milk fell and splattered on kitchen floor. After sobbing over my hard-pumped spilt milk, I began to smile. This was amazing! Tuxedo was doubling as a Swiffer Sweeper, lapping up my milk until the floor glistened.
It was too late for him to benefit from my colostrum, but perhaps he could still use the “liquid gold’s” nutrients to strengthen his immune system.
So what? you ask. Elie Mae latched onto anything. Tuxedo is a one-trick pony!
Ah, Dear Reader, you speak too soon. I urge you, read on. It won’t take as many years off your life as you may think:
It was a dark and stormy night, and I was pumping (which is why it was dark and stormy). And guess who waltzes up, executes a perfect crossover, then goes for my breast shield? NO, Elie Mae isn’t even crawling yet, though she does like Derrick Rose.
It’s Tuxedo. And I swear, he catches my attention, winks, and then runs to his cage. Inside his cage he uncovers all the treats he’s hoarded under his blanket and lays them out on the living room carpet to spell:
Any Nuk Nipple or Sheeled Will Do.
I tell him he has misspelled “shield,” and he sulks, because he has wasted three milk bones.
But I am horrified, in an impressed way, like when someone eats 10 White Castle burgers and five orders of onion chips with no bathroom in sight.
I’ve learned that as it goes with Elie Mae, so it goes with Tuxedo. To help control her reflux, we feed Eliot oatmeal cereal with milk. Guess who waits for the oatmeal flakes to drop? In order for Eliot to drink the cereal, we have bought her several “Y-shaped” nipples. Apparently, a certain dog with a white stripe down his middle has also graduated from the “slow-flow” hole.
Just the other day, my husband found a “Y-shaped” nipple in his poop. (NO, in Tuxedo’s poop, my friend.)
I am proud to say our dog has reached a new milestone. He is officially a Gerber “Supported Sitter.” He pushes up with his front paws while on his tummy, bats at colorful objects, and should be eating pureed peas any day now.