If you don’t want to talk about my breasts, you’ve come to the wrong post, buddy.
My sons have all been natural-born suckers. Through no valiant or hyper-vigilant effort of my own, I have been a breastfeeder for the masses, or so it seems. I mean, breastfeeding two kids at once for two years? Massive. But it really hasn’t felt hard or difficult or anything other than normal. Feeding Roan was the same way. He was happy to breastfeed or bottle feed or just eat. And he drifted between all three mediums until he decided not to, and that was that. Around age two years and a few months, he was done breastfeeding and told me so.
Smitty and Shepz have been champion breastfeeders. And until one week ago today, I was still breastfeeding them at night, right before bed. It was easy and sweet, a chance for the three of us to cuddle up and be quiet. They would always hold hands, and Smitty would do a bit of intermittent verbal free association during the process, kind of giving an overview of how his day played out for him. “Smishie fall down. Roro School. Sheppy not share. Mama hide. Fast car. Special Snack.” Sort of an end-of-day highlight reel, in-between gulps of milk.
It would seem that I’m one of those ladies who really really really believes in breastfeeding for ages but I’m not. It’s just been the easiest thing for me and my boys, the right way for us to go about what we do. But I figured out that now we’re at a stage where it’s just going to be harder and harder to take it away and I’m thinking these two are not going to call it off anytime soon. So. I decided to break it off, quick and clean last Friday night when Roan and I spent the night away. That was the first night they went to bed without me.
It went smoothly, couldn’t have been better. But the next night when I was back, but not offering it up? Not as smooth. I had a big plan as I often times do. Just replace the breastfeeding session with a reading session. Something they love and can look forward to. Something special and cozy, filled with love and attention. And with Anson, Roan, Smitty, Shepz and me piled on the bed reading Goodnight Moon and The Big Red Barn, I thought about how easy this transition is. Until we put them to bed and they were all, “What. The. What?”
And there was a bit of crying and I felt sad. I felt really sad. They haven’t cried when going to bed for over a year. I thought about how lame it was for me to stop, because really it wasn’t putting me out at all, and they liked it and what was the downside again? Hmmmmmm. But I am a woman of strong intent and even when logic fails if I’ve made a decision I stick with it. This is why I ran several businesses successfully which should absolutely not have succeeded. Because I’m stubborn like whoa.
So the next night was better and the night after that the best. They’re into the new groove, it’s a good routine we have now. I now remember that I stopped because I cannot breastfeed them forever, I stopped because at some point I have to. They even joke about not nursing, asking for it and then quickly saying, “Noooooo!” in a funny joking way, like they had asked me to travel to the moon with no pants on, and obviously they would wear pants because the moon is cold.
I suppose there are upsides to this now. I can spend nights away, babysitters can come and put these boys to bed. But just as I miss those quiet times from years ago with Roan cuddled up tight in my arms, I already miss these two bigger and bigger boys sandwiching me and holding hands. Parenthood is a funny thing. It’s the best the worst the happiest and the saddest. And the fastest. That’s the hardest part. Too fast.