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Question of the Week - Ready or Not...

I had a different question for this week, but I'm going to have to push it to next week. Cause something happened this morning. Something I wasn't ready for.

The Pookie has pretty much stopped nursing. And I'm super emotional about this. Even though I thought I was close to ready, I'm still so sad and don't feel ready. Even though we were down to nursing in the mornings at wake up and at bedtime, I was (mostly) enjoying those times. Even though I had been planning to wean him by next month so I could start medication for this winter for my SAD, I thought I had another month.

Over the last couple of weeks, he's been been trying to do gymnastics in my lap while nursing at night. That has been frustrating and uncomfortable, but he was still mostly settling down to nurse at least for a little while. But not so the last few nights. Instead, his gymnastics had turned into playing games (kissing-instead-of-nursing games! snuggling-while-hiding-his-face games! catch-him-before-he-dives-over-the-arm-of-the-chair games!) and squirming off my lap to play on the floor. After 5 or 10 minutes of playing on the floor, I was able to pick him back up and rock him or walk with him, but he was not interested in nursing! [sob!] And last night? He nursed for maybe 2 minutes, and that was it. He was done.

So I did see it coming. I figured he was ready to stop nursing at night. We'd just nurse in the mornings for the next month. At least we'd have that.

WRONG! This morning? Two sips, which I doubt were even sips since I don't think the milk had even come down yet. And then he was squirming, cause what was the dog doing? Did he hear the Pumpkin? Was that Daddy? What were they doing? What's going on? Move out of my way, Mommy, and stop holding me back!

I thought briefly about pushing the issue. I could have closed the door, turned on the humidifier for white noise, held him in place, but it really wasn't likely that any of that would have helped. So I called in Londo and told him, "I think we are done nursing."

Yes, there was a catch in my voice. Londo knew immediately exactly what was happening and how I felt about it. (He's good like that.) And in addition to the sympathy, Londo pointed out that it was baby-led weaning in action. The baby was ready to stop, and it was better to let it happen naturally now then to have to make it an issue and possible fight in a month.

So that's it. We are done nursing. I am sad, but I am also proud. We nursed for 14 months! It was very tough at times, easy at others, but it was always extremely special. I may not have felt quite ready, but I'm not sure I would ever feel quite ready.

And I have to say this and put this out there: I'm especially sad because if we don't have another baby, then I'm completely done with that aspect of parenthood and my life. That's hard.

So this week's question of the week is:

What did your kid(s) do before you were ready?

For the Pumpkin, it was definitely her physical capabilities. Every time we thought something was baby-proofed, up high enough, not interesting, locked securely, in a child-proofed container, she was able to get into it, reach it, climb it, etc. She was just always so ahead of what we were ready for, especially with her gross motor skills and her height! Not to mention her instinctive ability to figure stuff out. Can't reach the item she shouldn't have that was placed on a high counter? Then she'd just figure out how to pull up a chair to get it.

For 2 years now, we've had to put things on top of the fridge to really keep it away from her! And the only reason she can't open our baby gates is because we splurged for ones that required more hand strength than a child (even our child) has!

What about your kid(s)? What have they been able to do that you weren't expecting? What did they stop doing before you wanted them to? What are they doing whether or not you are ready for it?


Jan said…
I made up a special song for each of my kids, to sing at bedtime/naptime as part of our going-to-sleep routine. My daughter, 6, almost never wants me to sing it anymore. I've made her promise I can sing it once in awhile so I don't forget it and when (if, I always say if) she has babies, I can sing it to them.

I had really low milk supply and both my babies weaned before I was ready (7 or 8 months) -- it was just too much trouble for them for the amount of milk they got.
Cloud said…
Oh, big hugs! I know I'm going to be very sad when I wean Petunia (or she weans herself), because she is my last baby. I am already getting all misty just thinking about it!

At the same time, I am ready to start scaling back pumping at work, but she isn't. She absolutely refuses yogurt (she makes a cute yucky face and pushes it away), and hasn't taken an interest in cheese yet, so I think I'll have to wait until we can start cow's milk. And hope that she likes that!

Now, for the real question. And I don't have a good answer! It seems like I'm always pushing my kids forward.... which is maybe not a good thing? Hmmmm.
OneTiredEma said…
AM also weaned before I was ready (at...*roll eyes* 3y4m). In retrospect I think there was just so much else going on in our lives at the time (his last time nursing was on the plane to Israel) that I wasn't ready to let that piece go too.

Miss M's artistic talents came out of nowhere and continue to just surprise us all the time.
Anonymous said…
hugs* Cara You're amazing. 14 months is the perfect time for Pookie, and he's telling ya so. Of course you're sad! I cried and cried when i realized i wasnt going to be able to nurse the twins. And, of course now firmly riding the apex of my life , sights set on the downward slope (it's always easier going down a hill than climbing one, and i hope it proves true for me, allegorically!) i feel you, intimately, regarding how it feels to say "i'll never have that experience again". But you know what? you're not me, and needing an extra level of effort for conception aside, you've got quite a few years between where you are, and 40 (for instance : ) ) . i present your niece and nephew as exhibit A in the case of "Never say Never". Did ANYone (myself included) ever believe i'd do it again?! Even your bro was resigned to his fate : ) But either way, let that nostaglia run more sweet than the way it smells on their baby blankets when you come upon them in the closet. There are SOOOOOOoooooooooooooooOOOOOO(!!)OOoooo many more wonders to be discovered through them, and so many more ways your bonds will strengthen and grow on both sides. TRUST me. Breastfeeding feels AWEsome when it's working right, but it ain't nothing on watching your kid make the winning point in a basketball game, or playing her first piano recital, or graduating from middle school... whew... dusty in here.. anyway. Honestly, with the eldest there was rarely a time she surprised me developmentally, and i was usually the one to set the pace. Up until she was 10: then she was all like "hanging with dad in the office playing video games, kthnxbi" and that happened too quickly for me. I'd gotten used to her being a huge chunk of my efforts every day and all of a sudden she didnt need so very much at all. With the twins? I'll let you know when they hit a point like that, but so far every step towards independence is like a cold trickle of water on a parched throat : ) Oh, and I wants to play with the Pumpkin soon. Can we set up a date either here or there? Maybe your fam could come over for dinner next weekend or the following?! I'll get D to cook!
Melba said…
I wish I could say I understand how hard it is but I sort of can't. I weaned both my babies early, for various reasons, and my breastfeeding experience with both of them was never good. Weaning was a relief. And ever since the day 3+ years ago when I realized how bad breastfeeding Rosie was for both of us, I've always been a little sad and disappointed that I won't have that close bonding experience with my babies.

So what I'm trying to say is... its better to have had a special breastfeeding relationship with your babies and have to go through the difficulty of weaning (whether baby led or mother led) than to never have breastfed at all. :) But you know that. Pookie's just saying he's ready now mama. Onto the next stage of becoming a boy. *sniff*

Now to answer the question... Rosie launched herself out of her crib at 18 months old, landing head first in a stack of books (not hurt badly thank goodness). I so wasn't ready to have an 18 month old unconfined in a big girl bed! She was in her crib with the one side taken off for 2 months while we ordered and waited for her big girl bed.

With Annie, its her mobility. Rosie took her sweet time moving around. Didn't roll over until AFTER she crawled (yes that's right). She could sit up on her own if placed there, and learned to crawl by leaning into crawling position from sitting. She was 10 months old, and only after figuring out crawling did she roll over. Annie, on the other hand, is 6 months old and getting herself around by rolling and some commando-style dragging. She's also started bridging. I figure I've got about 2 weeks max, but we're going on holidays in a couple days. I predict that we'll have a crawler and a puller-upper by the time we get back and my house is NOT babyproofed. No baby gates. No anti-tip braces on bookshelves. No cupboard latches. Good grief what am I going to do?
Clare said…
Both my boys weaned like that. One day they were nursing quietly, the next (it seemed), they were done. My older was 13 months, the younger 18 months. I was relieved when my first weaned, but very sad when my second did. I thought I might make it to 2 yrs with him, but he thought otherwise.

I am shocked at my elder boy's ability to read; at 6, he is easily reading books intended for 10 year olds, which makes me so proud and so worried at the same time. Will first grade be too boring for him? How do I find challenging things that are age-appropriate? And my younger boy amazes me with how well he physically keeps up with his brother (3.5 yrs older).
hush said…
Oh dudes! I am sorry to hear that. It sounds like a real loss - please take time to grieve it, but also know that you have nursed way more than most mamas (including yours truly) and that's really, really cool.
Anonymous said…
Oh, I am so sorry. My son weaned himself at 14 months and I was so sad about it.

Congratulations to you though, it is a lot of work to keep nursing for 14 months! It is hard and sad to stop, but worth celebrating.

paola said…
It seems that whatever age you wean your kids it's still too early. I would have liked to have waited a while before weaning Noah but I was spotting (pregnant with Zoe) and the nausea every time I nursed was unbearable. He was 17 months old but it was still a little sad. I weaned Zoe last year at 30 months and that was even harder for the same reason you mentioned. She IS my last and it was terribly sad to say goodbye to that wonderful joyous experience, even if it was my decision to wean.

Apart from that, like Cloud, there is nothing my kids have started or stopped doing that I was not ready for. Although when Noah started riding on the road without training wheels was pretty darn scary for a while.
Weaning is hard, even when you are convinced you're ready (as I definitely was with le Petit). Maybe you could do something special for yourself in celebration for having had such a successful breastfeeding relationship? To bring out the positive side, while honoring the bittersweet side as well?

The only thing I can think of that le Petit did before we were ready was climbing out of his crib at 20 months. Just when the apartment was torn up with a remodeling project. Ugh. The worst part was, he wasn't actually ready for a big boy bed and our subsequent attempt to transition to one was a disaster. So we just secured the "landing zone" and left him in his cozy crib for another year, until he was truly ready. And then voila, the transition went well.

Otherwise it's more been ME waiting not-so-patiently for some (convenient for me) milestone... like sleeping through the night or (ahem) potty training. OTOH, I have noticed, with some nostalgia, that just when we've gotten into a groove with an age or stage and all is working smoothly and my cluelessness is subsiding, he goes and grows up. Dang!
Susan said…
My son weaned himself just like this when he was 11 months old. I was definitely sad about it. In fact, sometimes I still am and he's 2.75 now. We don't know if we're going to have another, which is part of the sadness.
Anandi said…
Hugs to you! That is hard on the mama, but the bright side is that you won't have to fight him about it later when he wants to nurse and you're done with it. This way he gets to choose, right?

@Cloud - I'm so with you on being done pumping.

I'm down to 1x/day and we found a formula that milk-allergic BabyT will tolerate, so in a pinch she gets some of that.

She seemed to be allergic to soy but we tried again today with tofu and it went well, so if that continues, I may stop pumping in a month and start trying soy milk with her (but still nurse @ home when she wants). Even that is a little sad.

So hugs Caramama. I saw your post on AskMoxie and thought I'd come here and give you some virtual support :)

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