Or I guess another apt title would be: you reap what you sow.
I live in a region of the U.S. that has one of the highest rates of American breast-fed babies. It is just as common to breast feed in public as it is to shake up a bottle of formula. No one bats an eye. Until your kid can walk up to you and nurse, that is. That still seems to skeeve people out. Even if they do sport a "Keep Portland Weird" bumper sticker on their Prius.
At 1 year, Missy doesn’t seem close to walking. Which is great. Because she is so not close to weaning either.
I don’t mean to suggest that I would raise my child based on what I perceive are the perceptions from total strangers – or even good friends. But after 1 year of age, it seems like the scale goes quickly from "my, what a healthy thing for your baby," to "good lord, when is that kid going to get off the boob."
Don’t get me wrong. I really, really, really wanted breast feeding to go well for us. So much so that I forbade the nurses in L&D to give Missy a pacifier in her early days for fear that she wouldn’t develop a good latch.
Where my body failed me with pregnancies, my girls made up for it in spades. Nursing was easy as pie for Missy and me. Now it has gone so well that I fear that Missy won’t be inclined to give it up too soon.
She still insists on nursing to sleep for naps and night-night. We are working slowly at dropping the nursing session for her morning nap. But she also nurses in the night a few times. I can count on one hand the number of times she has slept through the night since her birth. Over a year ago. Sigh.
When we go out – which is almost never because we spent all of our money on day care at the mountain – I leave a sippy cup of expressed milk for the sitter and Missy won’t touch it. She goes to sleep for Cowboy and the sitter with no milk and only a little fussing before putting her head down on their shoulders. But for me, she literally shoves her way down to the girls and gets seriously pissed off if I don’t oblige. Which I resent. Just a tiny, tiny bit.
During the day, I comfort her with hugs, kisses and distractions -– thank goodness it is so easy to distract a toddler. At night, however, it is just easier for everyone to let her have a little nursing sesh and we all go right back to sleep. Besides, I can see my refusal becoming a battle of wills. And with a mother-daughter Taurus combo, I don’t anticipate a fabulous outcome in that scenario.
But – and this is so Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret – but I really want my period to come. I am seriously jealous when I hear about other new moms getting AF. Nursing - specifically the night nursing - is preventing my auntie from returning for a visit.
On the other hand, I want to have my cake and eat it, too. Because I don’t want to force-wean Missy when she (I?) is clearly not ready. What if I wean her and give up the close bonding we have and then I piss her off and she needs years of therapy as a teen? Only so that we can try again before my eggs dry up (and, trust me, that window is getting very, very small). Yeah, because all that timed sex and thermometer-induced rage was super positive for our marriage. Maybe we won’t even have another successful outcome.
Gosh, I sound like such a chicken shit.
But at least I have a great looking rack.