Weaning me; the unwelcome crossroads.

Saturday she lingered…

Sassi is like my little lamb. She’s not one to be in anyone’s lap most times but prefers playing by herself in the room. Whether it’s toys, watching TV, colouring every possible surface with crayons or thumbing through her books. At 17 months she will probably come give me a hug every now and then but since she was much younger, would resort to playing on her own.

However the peace lasts only until I’m “safely” settled in the room with her. The second I stand up or start pacing the room or even just begin talking on the phone, there’s havoc for attention or to limit the possibility of me leaving the room by myself.

She will follow me like a lamb, sometimes even crawling up my legs wanting to cling on to me.

This weekend I went to the kitchen as usual to make her breakfast only to turn around and not find her. Frantic, I ran back only to find her fixated on some song playing on the tv.

“This is good” whispered a night boobin’, attachment parent. “My baby is growing up” screamed the heart that no logic appeals to.

She lingered on and I could hardly beat an egg worrying what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Even though the room was completely safe, gate secured against the staircase, no exposed switchboards within her reach, nothing threatening her well being. Yet, my heart was beating so fast I thought it would burst through my chest. Mix of emotions. Pride at my growing child who was finally unhinging off me. Slight sadness at missing the little human shadowing me everywhere. Worry to make sure she’s okay in the other room. Happy to see her content without any props (namely me OR a replacement toy or anything.) she just stood in the room watching television.

Unlike popular belief she’s not exactly stuck to the TV addictively as I’ve seen kids who can be fed or put upside down while their gaze is locked at the telly without blinking. Sass likes the TV but will watch it for a bit. Then wander around do something else, play with a toy, bring me a book to read or tear one apart, try to get me to sit on the floor and cuddle with her. Many things to do and telly makes and appearance in the list sporadically. Definitely not continuously.

Most people with babies at or around Sassi’s age (most younger infact) are attempting to wean them or at the very least, night wean or move into their own beds etc. So plenty going on while my 17 mo merrily increases night feeds. In All honesty she’s had an upset stomach for a few days and I suspect a tooth or two in process. I can’t check because she won’t let me which is another telltale sign of this child’s teething.

I don’t have any intention of weaning her deliberately or move her out of our bed until she can start talking and we can have a conversation. That’s not a decision I made after reading a book or studying a research paper. That’s just my own personal decision. It may go well or I may be stuck with a seven year old asking for boob post a three course meal for comfort, who knows! It’s a tale only time can tell but I don’t think I can comfort or cuddle this strong-headed girl enough to take my husband’s glasses away from her let alone coax her into weaning. I’m not wasting my breath.

I’ll talk to her. Maybe she will understand, maybe she won’t. Maybe it’ll go smoothly maybe it’ll be a riot. We will see.

Though something no one talks about is the fact how WE wean off our child. Is it not addictive to be held onto each night? Is that smell not intoxicating, they didn’t name the lightest Spritz of a flower baby’s breath for nothing. The kissing of those soft cheeks, ruffling of those hair, sporadic hugs and constant jokes through breastfeeding.

How do I unhinge from these through the night? Or even daytime? As I type this she is nestled against my torso with her head resting under my arm and I’m stuck at an awkward angle but the more I creep away from her the more she crawls closer to cuddle. Usually makes me end up at the very edge of the bed. Which is why I don’t. Every time she digs into my side, I now cuddle her back. It’s so much more fun than worrying I’ll crush her. She’s clearly capable of a tight whack if I as much as brush her with an inch of the cover/ comforter/ blanket.m while she peacefully sleeps. She can push me away if I’m too much to handle.

So I will enjoy her a little more for growing away she already is. In tiny ways of her own. Even if it is staying back to see an advert in the tv room.

I’ll let her grow away for I have yet to see a teenager breastfeeding through the night.

I’ll talk to her when she can. We can either discuss logic or opportunities of bribery. Or both.

I’ll not make her cry to pull her away from me in any possible way for that is a natural way to be. She’s bound to have her own life and loosen the grip on us eventually so what’s the rush.

Let HER make the difficult decision. Let HER wean me off of her.

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