Alas, the time has come.
My big two-year old boy and I have mutually decided to stop nursing. That is, he pretty much quit nursing while we were on vacation, most likely because he was too busy having fun. When we were on our journey home Rowan asked to nurse, and I told him that Mommy’s milk was almost gone, and when we got home he’d have to be done nursing. He listened intently for a moment, and then eagerly completed his task and fell asleep.
When we got home I told him that if he could go seven days without nursing, he could get a present. After inquiring if seven minutes would work, and finding out it wouldn’t, he cried. He cried a lot and for a long time. Eventually he fell asleep, out of pure exhaustion, but step one was complete.
Come nap time the next day, we repeated the scene from the previous night, only with less crying, and a totally kick butt cuddle session as he fell asleep. He requested several songs, a prayer, and for me to rub his back. If I stopped, for even a second, he’s gently remind me to keep going by yelling, “MORE! MUCH!”
Tonight there was a LOT of talk about getting a present, which is apparently going to be a bulldozer guitar(???), but nary a tear was shed…by Rowan.
Yes, it’s true, I cried. I don’t know if I will have any more babies, which makes watching this one grow up, bittersweet. The bond Rowan and I have formed through nursing is unique. It’s meant that I’ve had to be there for every nap, every bed time, and the spaces between. It’s a commitment that, while difficult at times, has been one I’ve been pleased to make. It’s meant I have been there. For everything, if only by default.
I know in the grand scheme of things, this is a minor step for him. There will be more important things, scarier things, harder things that he will have to go through during his transition into the world. Maybe it’s because it’s his first step to breaking away from me that makes this painful.
My son will need me a little less now, and I’m coming to grips with that. In actuality I’m proud of the little guy. He’s pretty much had to quit, cold turkey, a several-times-a-day habit he’s had for over two years. There’s been no patch, no support group, and no sponsor to call when he’s had cravings. That’s pretty hard-core!
I will continue to mourn this pastime we’ve shared for a few more days, and then I will look back on it with fondness for the rest of my life.
Rowan nursing shortly after his birth.