Completely unrelated to this picture (which is of some paintings I am working on) is my news that Lilikoi stopped nursing last week. I wasn't sure if I would share something like that here~ it seems a little personal maybe~ but I can't deny that it is a huge and exciting shift in our household. I also feel like our nursing relationship was sweet right until the end, and I want to be an advocate for following your gut in aspects relating to nursing.
I have a few friends who nursed well past two and said it was great. I have a few friends for whom nursing became a battle and a source of aggravation and tantrums around this age. The first rule I set for Lili was no nursing power-struggle-tantrums (It is probably a joke that I am claiming she was following a rule of mine rather than I was just blessed with a child who happened to comply). Other things I did not want:
  1. I did not want to have her pulling at my shirt in public.
  2. No drive by nursing. Nurse for 30 seconds, go back to play, come back to nurse for 30 seconds a minute later...
  3. No biting or being mean to me while nursing.
So I always said as soon as any of these things start happening, or if it all of a sudden just feels right we will stop. We had already gracefully weened down to three nurses a day~ morning, nap time, and bedtime. So at bedtime a couple weeks ago out of nowhere I heard myself asking her if she was ready to be all done nursing. She looked at me a little puzzled and said "More". But then I continued to ask her a couple times until one night I thought I might be able to get away with ending it. Our conversation went something like this:
I asked her: "Does Gita nurse?"
"Noooooo, Gita is a big girl, she is all done nursies. Does Kessy nurse?"
"Noooooo, Kessy is a big girl, she is all done nursies. Does Lo-Lo nurse?"
long pause..."Yes???"
No, Lo-Lo is a big girl. All done. Is Lili ready to be all done or do you want one more nursies?"
"All done."
"So, Lili is all done nursies?"
"Are you all done or do you want one more?"
Then she looked down from my eyes, and to my breasts she said, "Buh-bye".

And that was that. She needs reminding each day that she is a big girl now and nursies all done. But overall it has been perfect. I personally have a little grieving to do around letting it go. I have loved our nursing moments of silence and connecting. But now it is like a new era of potential closeness has opened for us. I have been singing her to sleep each night and cuddling face to face, and I love it.
She seems to be taking this new change seriously, because I swear this last week she just seems so much more grown up...


Daisie said...

Ah, it's so liberating and so sad at the same time. Elizabeth was wrenched from the breast at two and a bit because I figured that once she was dry day and night and so independant in other ways it was time to stop (and I was nearly ready to give birth to Francesca). Francesca was 15 months and just decided she liked her thumb better at night time. Nathaniel stopped about eight weeks ago through his own choice. Only need to wait until september and then can start again!!
Hope you and Lili continue to enjoy your special, breast free bond!

Anonymous said...

It is such an interesting transition. I felt such a mix of emotions, but you seem to be handling it beautifully. Of course, our nursing relationship was always extra emotionally-fraught, because of the near impossible beginning, so that made it especially hard for me to end it. But there are wonderful new aspects to the next stage of parenthood, and the greater independence is certainly one of them. I wish you well in this sacred time!
miss you,

Erin said...

I have tears in my eyes. This topic has been so much on my mind lately. Corbin has dropped his mid-morning nursing and is slowly starting to drop the afternoon one too. I have such mixed feelings about it. Thank you so much for sharing your conversation with Lili. Oh my. How precious. I look forward to hearing about the new freedom and bond :-)