We lasted 2 years, 11 months, and 21 days. The end came so fast that I didn’t see it even though I started the ball rolling. And I swear on my life that I never intended to “bribe” my son into weaning but that is kind of how it happened, as the story will tell.[hr]
Our very last nursing session was on the couch this morning. I usually say no when he requests to nurse outside of naps or before bed but today I said yes after he held up his finger and said “1 minute?!” in his sweet voice. It wasn’t anything special, in fact I recall him being on the iPad and it was just that, one minute from each side. He was sitting to my left then he crawled over me to get to my right side. At first, when I thought back on it I was sad that this was our last session, iPad and all, but it was fitting.
When it was time for him to nap I had him lay down and to my surprise, I told him that we would not be having milk-milk anymore. I still don’t know exactly what made today the day. The “let’s let him wean himself” thing hasn’t been happening at all so I knew at some point it would be on me to end things.[hr]
“Everett, you are a big boy. You can lay here in your brother’s bed and take your nap. Then we will pick him up from school.”
“Big boy, me, Everett! Milk-milk?”
“Have you ever noticed that big brother never has any milkies? It’s because he is a big boy and he doesn’t need it anymore. You are a big boy now too. You can walk, talk, use the potty, and you can sleep in a big boy bed. You don’t need milk anymore like you did when you were a baby.”
“Me a baby.”
“No, you’re a big boy, you just said so yourself. Let’s try going to bed without milkies today, and tonight… and see if we can just cuddle.” He didn’t seem thrilled with the idea… so I surprised myself even more with the next line. “If we can stop drinking milkies then maybe you can pick out a special treat.”
[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px”]”ROBOT T-REX!”[/typography] he shouted confidently.
After his declaration he immediately laid his head on the pillow and didn’t ask again. He actually didn’t end up napping and came out to play but that has no bearing on the story, just my life, because I really wanted a break.
Tonight when it was bedtime I didn’t expect it to work and half hoped it didn’t. I tucked him in after reading his favorite Zombie book and he asked for milk-milk.
“1 minute?!” as he held up his little finger…
“No… no minutes. Remember? You’re a big boy now and big boys don’t need milkies anymore.”
“Buy ROBOT T-REX?”
sigh “Yes. Let’s go two days with no milkies. If we do, let’s go to the store and find one. Now close your eyes and go to sleep. Can we cuddle?”
Then he laid right down for bed and didn’t protest as I got up and walked away even though, secretly, I was hoping he would put up more of a fight.[hr]
I stayed standing at the crack in the door. I’m working my way back to just tucking him in and saying goodnight after several miserable weeks of him protesting me leaving his side. So instead, I compromised and now stand there so that he can see I’m there. We talk through the crack if need be. It isn’t ideal but better than before when his night-time tantrums and fighting bedtime antics reminded me of those scenes from Supernanny.[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px”]Then it hit me like a freight train. We. Are. Done. [/typography]
The hot tears sprang up and I held in my crying because he was not yet asleep. His eyelids were halfway open and he was almost there. As soon as they closed, just one minute later, I let it out. I ran to my husband and hugged him. He knew too. I wanted to take it back. I’m not ready. This is my last baby and suddenly, I’m done. No more breastfeeding and no more babies. I’m in a new stage of motherhood and life. One full of homework, T-ball practice, and fart jokes.
I’ll get past the sadness soon and see the positives- the freedom that lies ahead as my children grow older. The hope that one miraculous day I can drop my boys off at their grandparents’ house and take a small vacation with my husband. And I will sleep for days… I don’t care where we go as long as the bed is comfortable.
Tonight? Sucks. I hate it. I’m mad at myself for even starting this and proud of myself too. The timing is right with a trip to see family next week and then I’m off to Vegas next month for work. Everett was ready too, or else it wouldn’t have been so darn easy.[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”20″ size_format=”px”]Either that or he really, really, really wants that Robot T-Rex. [/typography]