Tuesday, March 5, 2013

To Wean or Not To Wean

A week or so ago we went to an Oscar party at the home of some friends. The kids were playing, the food was plentiful, and we were happy to commingle with fellow movie-lovers. Somewhere between Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay, Griffin decided he wanted a snack. He looked up from his toys and made a beeline straight for where I sat relaxing on the couch, sandwiched between two women I had met about 20 minutes prior. He climbed over two people's legs, shoving aside anything in his path, until he had made his way into my lap, at which point my gigantic 17-month-old toddler proceeded to slap my chest with the palm of his hand while chanting "BOOPBOOP! BOOPBOOP!" and staring, ravenous and open-mouthed, at my cleavage.

Charming, eh?

My kid is a boob monster. Anywhere, at any time, he'll drop whatever he's doing to grapple onto my body and have himself a nurse. I can no longer change my clothes in front of him without risking a boob attack. The other day I made the mistake of picking him up in the midst of my morning routine, while I was still shirtless. FOOLISH, PAIGE. Immediately the BOOPBOOP-ing began, as he somehow managed to fold his massive 80th percentile body in two in order to latch on for a swig.

Carter was not this child. Carter loved bottles and didn't particularly want to have anything to do with nursing after eight months or so. It was only through sheer insane determination - lugging my pump everywhere we went and pumping bottles for his every meal - that he did not wean completely at that point. The only times he would deign to nurse was at night and first thing in the morning - attempting to nurse him at any other time of day would only elicit howls of protest, like my nipples were made of razors and MOMMY HOW COULD YOU?

Griffin is at the other end of the spectrum. This is the kid who rejected bottles every single day for months - MONTHS - until I thought I would surely lose my mind. Then I went back to work and by damn, you will take this bottle and LIKE IT, MISTER. And he did, finally. But if there's a spare boob around? Forget it. Don't even try to shove that piece of silicone in my mouth - I'll take the real deal, thankyouverymuch.

But this shop is closing, sir. Inventory done all dried up, my friend. Mommy would like the ladies back.
I ultimately nursed Carter til he was 18 months, until I was three months pregnant with Griffin, so I have been either pregnant or nursing (or pregnant AND nursing) for over four years straight, and I AM TIRED.

So here I am, ready to wean my not-so-weanable son. When it was time to wean Carter, I first cut out the AM feed and after another month or so I just told him that Mommy's boobies do not have milk anymore, but you can have this lovely bottle. TA-DA! Weaned.

With the Finster, it will not be this easy. It will be What the?!? Get that accursed bottle outta my face! Now hand over the BOOPBOOP and nobody gets hurt.

Mind you, I love nursing. After the rocky beginning - the tears and the stress and the pain, MY GOD, the pain - nursing successfully is one of my proudest mothering accomplishments, so it's hard to stop, even if it's time. Our twice-daily nursing sessions are a brief time of total peace, calm, and contentment - all the stress of the day drops away and there is only me and my little boy. Sometimes I think To hell with it! Weaning sounds like a pain in the ass - I'll just keep nursing forever! Yay, hippies! WHEEE!!

But it's almost time.

Godspeed, boobs. Godspeed.

2 comments:

Erica said...

You are the champion of nursing.

Kari Friedman said...

I hear you lady. Griffin is just like Marlo. We're down to 1 nurse a day - before bedtime nurse. I think I had a 5 month break with nursing in between Liam and getting pregnant. Liam liked bottles so I never felt like I was owned by him, but Marlo really only took a bottle about 4 times. Finally at 12 months she decided to take a sippy cup, thank god. She took the weaning pretty well. I was surprised since she was so boob obsessed. Well, I guess she's not really weaned since we nurse once day. But I gradually decreased the day time nursing and it went smoothly. Maybe take G down to one nurse for a week, and then bye-bye boobie! Kuddos lady to the end of the Griffin nursing journey!