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No more nuh-nuh

I don't want to jinx it or anything, but it seems as if I may have weened Zion this week. He was only using nursing to go to sleep at night, and not every night because sometimes he fell asleep without remembering to ask. So it wasn't a very big thing to tell him no nursing and give him a cuddle or a bottle of juice. I think we have passed that magical five-day mark with no nursing, which means we're officially done? yes? But it looks like my breasts don't believe me. They have given milk non-stop for over four years now, so when I tell them we are taking a bit of a break they're like, "Haha, yeah whatever lady."

This does not mean I'm suddenly sleeping easy. Zion hasn't night-nursed for months now, but he still wakes up faithfully between one and four times a night asking for cuddles and sometimes "apppple juiiiiiiiiice!" Harvey also wakes up when he wets the bed, which is at least twice a week, so between changing sheets, running to the kitchen for juiiiiiiice, and giving two needy boys the love and affection they refuse to take from teddy bears, there's not much rest going on. Which is why weening doesn't feel so much like a victory as it does a coping mechanism. If they keep me up all night and then on top of that the little one is squeezing my tits? I can get a little yelly first thing in the morning.

The best emotional management tool I know after a terrible night with the children is to take a break away from them before they wake up. So if I find myself lying across the bottom of their two beds, a hand mechanically petting Zion's back, and I start to hear the birds singing? I quickly check if they're asleep and then I get the fuck out of there. I used to go running at 5am religiously, but the heat has been making me sick lately so instead I look at the computer or read or stretch. Sometimes I even read the bible, but Zion usually needs a half-hour of cuddling when he wakes up, and I try to do bible then or else it's so boring rocking a two-year-old and doing absolutely nothing else that I want to gouge my eyes out.

Of all the mothers that could be on the cover of Time Magazine, I am probably a poor poster-child for extended breastfeeding. I mean, yeah I nursed one child to 22 months and another to 27, through a pregnancy, in public when necessary. But I never, like, super-duper enjoyed it. I never felt like I needed or wanted to advocate for it. I never felt like it was anything more than feeding, anything bigger than pouring a bottle of juice (something I do probably twenty times a day now with very little sentimentality.)

I used to have big ideas about breastfeeding in the same way I had big ideas about home-birth or attachment parenting (whatever that is), and those big ideas included an unhealthy dose of EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT WRONG. I don't feel so strongly about these things anymore. Breastfeeding or giving birth at home are things that I have done. Other people do other things and that's cool too. I don't feel that these choices carry more weight than other parenting choices. Parenting goes on for a long time and every day there are lots and lots of choices. How do I do discipline this moment? How am I going to love my children and also take a break to breath? What tone of voice am I using when I speak to them? and how can I wipe that holier-than-thou asshole expression off my face?

I don't know the answers to all these questions, but I do know that I've signed up for class at the gym at 8am, and I'm going to wear my sports bra ALL DAY until then. In my weird world that feels like a celebration.


This evening Zion thought he'd try asking for nursing again. When Leah told him that he didn't need to nurse any more because he's a big boy he answered straight away, "no, me little!". But he also let himself be consoled with a cuddle without too much more fuss, so.

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