Monday, December 31, 2012

The Joys of Nursing a Toddler

Pre-kids, - heck, pre-baby E - I never saw myself nursing a toddler. As much as I knew nursing was a parenting tool I'd employ, nursing a 2yo was never something I imagined was for me. And, if I'm completely honest, it was something that I thought was kind of icky. You know, obviously breastfeeding is best for babies, but once they get teeth (ouch!), and once they're walking (walk to the table and get some food, kid!), and once they're talking (ask for some real food, kid!), etc... they no longer "need" it.

So, it's funny that that's where I find myself now. And particularly so, since I love nursing my talkative, runs and climbs all over the place, has a mouth full of teeth little boy.

Here are a couple of the reasons why...

(First, Baby E still calls nursing "mulp-mease", milk in a cup has become just "milk". Also, his pediatrician pretends they have birds in their ears to get them to hold still when she's checking their ears. It's amazingly effective.)
E: Mulp-mease all gone.
Me: Yup, it's all gone.
E: More mulp-mease?
M: It's all gone. We'll have more later.
E: [Where] mulp-mease go?
M: Is it in your belly?
E: No, mulp-mease no in belly!
M: Then where is it?
E: Mulp-mease in baby E's penis!!!!!!
M: Uh, maybe. Where else could it have gone?
E: Baby E's birds drink all 'uh mulp-mease!
And then he cracks up laughing for like 5 minutes, totally amused with the joke he's made. And how can I not laugh at that?!

The other morning, hubby let me sleep in (thank you, dear!). When I did get up, it was after 9am. As soon as I came out of my bedroom, baby E came running up to me, as I'm sure many of your kids do with you. He grabbed me around my legs, shouting with joy. After a minute of that, and then lots of hugging, baby E put his hands on either side of my face, looked me dead in the eyes and said, "mulp-mease pease, momma!". It was not a question. It was a statement, one made with excitement. Serious excitement.

I prepared the SNS, with him staying right by my side. When I told him it was ready, he said, "hold hand?" and we walked to the chair where we nurse 99% of the time. He waited patiently for me to get settled, climbed up into my lap, and sighed the most contented little sigh. He latched on and smiled up at me. Then he reached up and oh, so gently patted my cheek.

I understand that nursing a toddler isn't for everyone. But I am pleasantly surprised to find that it is for me. And I am beyond grateful for the experience.

Today's Lesson: I don't say this nearly often enough, but baby E's milk mommies, all 30+ of them, are the reason I was able to do this. They are amazing women and I so appreciate them one and all. Hum, that's not really a lesson though is it? Okay, so here's one. Sometimes the lesson, well, it's one you've just got to figure out for yourself.


M said...

So sweet! I always said I would nurse for a year. Now the thought of stopping then seems sad. I think I will just follow Sadie's lead.

Lauren said...

LOVE IT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, I am also now nursing a toddler, to my great surprise, with no end in sight. Some babies just need to nurse more than other babies, I think. I wish I could send you the frozen milk that's in my freezer that looks like it's going to go to waste!

Anonymous said...

I love nursing a toddler too :). I was always around lots of nursing toddlers, growing up in a big family with tons of kids around that were all breastfed, so I never had an idea of a kid being "too old" to nurse. I always wondered about the teeth, but that has mostly been a non-issue for us. And I love, love, LOVE that he can ask for it! Isaac just says "nurse", as I couldn't really think of a nickname I liked, and didn't really care if someone heard him asking in public.
I don't have an end date - he doesn't seem ready to stop, and I'm happy with the way things are and just plan on letting him go as long as he wants :).

Emms said...

This is SO sweet! I NEVER thought I'd barely make it to a year, let alone longer. I cried so hard when I weaned at 19 months for IVF, and this time around I will let this new baby self wean. I loved nursing a toddler, it is sweet in a different way than nursing a baby. I love that you are still nursing!

E. Phantzi said...

put me in the "me too" camp :-)