Two and a half years ago I wrote about needing to wean my then, sixteen month old, because I thought it was just the right time. He could go a full day without it and got the majority of his nourishment from actual food, so, shut down the dairy, right?
Here I am, almost three years later feeling lost as to how to go about weaning my daughter who is 25 months old. And, it is very much time to shut down the dairy yet again, and once and for all, but, is it?
I stopped breastfeeding my first child because I gave birth to my second. I tandem nursed a handful of times, through a rough illness and then, I guess he just learned that my cuddle was enough. It helped that his baby sister was basically in his way every hour of the day. He didn’t fight for boob access.
Baby sister is now an energetic, talkative, two-year old who will give me the stink eye and ask for “boobies?” while I’m casually chatting with another mother. I absolutely cringe under the judgement. Dear GOD, the judgement that I feel, the awkward silence. It just feels so weird. I hide my nursing and I feel guilty about that. I don’t know anyone else nursing their two year old right now and I’d rather stop nursing than feel guilty when someone gives me a strange look over it. I know this is crazy and I should just do “what’s best for mom and baby” … but it isn’t that simple inside my head.
I know I’m not doing anything wrong and it’s totally healthy for her, and for me. Continued breastfeeding has kept us out of the emergency room more than once when she had an illness that prevented her from keeping food down or being able to swallow. And I gotta say, I’m damn proud that I can still keep her safe and healthy, even when she is sick. I love providing her the comfort that she desires. I love our cuddle time because she talks to me, we bond, and it’s special. She might be my last child, so what if I extend nursing a few more months? I’m just soaking up the baby time. So says the good breastfeeding angel sitting on my left shoulder.
It’s also logistics that trip up my well-laid plans to wean. Mallory can go all day without nursing but I happen to sit down at 4:15 in the afternoon and she climbs into my lap and gropes for a breast. How do I say “NO” to my whiny, teary little girl? Do I shove a cookie at her instead? Do I avoid sitting down while in her line of view for a few weeks? Months?
I don’t even really know if I want to wean her this very minute. In all honesty, I’m in no rush. I do want to wean soon, like, within-six-months-soon, but how? Everyone always told me their children just quit one day, didn’t want it anymore and pushed the boob away. Clearly they haven’t met my breast-addicted brood.
So here I am again taking the passive weeny way out, tossing around the issue of weaning and silently hoping it just happens without my actually having to do something about it.
Stacy Kravitz has written about her boobs and the myriad other delicate issues of motherhood at The Fabulous Miss S.