It all started when Hubs found a nest in the nook in our roof. He went to spray insulation in the attic that had been torn out to make said nest, and while he's spraying a baby squirrel jumps through the foam. The poor bugger is covered in this hardening goop so Hubs traps him in a pillowcase. He got as much goop off as possible but Skitters ran off into the backyard with a shell of insulation on his tail and paws. Who knows what will become of him.
So here I am bawling in the laundry room over this little squirrel who might not survive when what do I see out the window but another baby squirrel. Just laying there trembling. Well I'm already in a state because of Skitters, so hubs goes out to check on this one to see if he's hurt. Well little Chipper runs away to our ac unit barking at anyone who dares come near him. Oh and crying desperately for his mama.
Hubs has perspective. These are rodents who have the potential to set our house on fire by chewing wires etc. But all I see is a scared baby whose mama is probably worried sick, and I'm crushed.
I start trying to research how old these fuzz buckets are, and I decide they're about 8 weeks. They still need mama but will be evicted soon. Still I am concerned.
My natural instinct is to feed and warm him, but what can baby squirrels eat? Well I note that first and foremost they still take mama's milk. We dont keep cow's milk in the house because of Sweet Pea's sensitivity. She's still taking her mama's milk too.
So here we are friends. I'm a grown woman searching the house for my breast pump to play wet nurse to a baby squirrel.
There comes a point in every marriage where your loyalties are tested. And yesterday was that day. It's no secret that I'm a bit of a lactivist. I try to normalize breastfeeding by just doing it whenever and wherever my kid needs it. Not really to make a statement other than "look its a boob. It's working. And it's not porn. And you don't have to stuff dollars in my bra (you can just set them on the bench)."
And with all his faults and for all the times hubs acts like a real meat head, he has always been a huge supporter of the way I nourish our babies. He's the one who put the bumper sticker on my car that says "if my breast feeding offends you feel free to put a blanket over your head."
So rather than having me committed for trying to save a baby squirrel with human boob juice, he went on about his business trying to find little Chipper's mama.
I never found my pump, but he found Mama. And the next day I put Chipper's little bed of towels near mama's favorite tree and she found him.
I was telling this story to a friend and she was dying at the absurdity. But while I see the humor, I don't really see all the crazy? Isn't that what we as mothers should do? Help each other? There's so much judgment and competition between mothers now. Formula vs. breast milk. Natural birth vs. c-section. Rodent vs. human. We're all just mothers. We want to do the best WE can for our kids. Not what other moms can. But the best WE can as their mom. We want our kids to be strong and smart and the fastest kid on the soccer team. We want them to walk the earliest and talk before they turn 1 and read before they are 3 and color a picture of a bear like nobody's business.
But above all, as mothers we all want our children to feel happy, healthy and safe.
So that's what I did. I tried to keep another mother's baby safe. I didn't hand her a pamphlet about the benefits of human breast milk. Her squirrel milk is probably fine. I didn't judge her choice of bedding. Insulation is soft, so clearly those squirrel pups are just SIDS waiting to happen. Especially because I can only assume she *gasp* co-sleeps with them.
But I passed no judgment on that mama. Instead I looked out for her most precious gift. I had her back in her time of need. Maybe if we all committed to breast feeding a squirrel, the world might be a safer and more loving place. Bring back a sense of community to this harsh world.
Yeah I'll just be waiting in my room for the straight jacket. I'm about a size 5....Ok a 7. Don't judge me.