Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is that a bottle up your shirt?

Or are you just happy to see me? The almost unbearable process of weaning is underway. And yes, I’m leading the way. How very selfish of me to bring forth life but take away his source of comfort before he is willing. Scold me. I.Need.Sleep. Not in the customary “I’m very tired today” sort of way. It’s more of a nauseatingly raw sort of relentless exhaustion. If anything, this almost 13 month old is reverse cycling and my increasing supply has augmented my chest to a very unmanageable mass. I am satisfied to have met my original goal of one year and yet I’m still struggling to liberate myself from the guilt of wanting to wean him. I weaned the Girl at four months because my desire to lose the maternal fat stores was uncontrollable and a baby who woke every few hours to nurse just wasn’t in the plans. And although I’m a more settled and capable mother these seven years later, this baby still tests the limits of my strength and patience. How he has distorted my predetermined beliefs about the sleeping patterns of babies! One may enter into parenthood with the sureness of a quickly established and harmonious routine only to be jolted into the reality of a high-needs infant. The unanticipated adventure of rearing this human regularly bowls me over. I worship him with complete devotion and having him as my child is a miraculous journey, but that doesn’t lessen my physical need for sleep.

Back to the bottle.

He’s well aware that the bottle I’m cloaking beneath the cover of my shirt is, indeed, not a breast. His heated objections and energetic attempts at pummeling my chest into submission make his opinion very clear. As he eyeballs that bottle of warm cow’s milk with outright disgust, I transiently tamper with my commitment. Should I offer him one more month? Should I hang it up and let him lead the way? In that moment the sleep fairy alights on my shoulder and delicately reminds me of how patient I am when I’m well rested. She also whispers the names of the two other small people who rely on my attentiveness. And so I snuggle his round cheek against the skin of my chest and offer him the warm bottle one more time.


Blogger Jozet said...

Ain't nobody happy if mam ain't happy.

I know you're going to second guess yourself from time to time...but don't. I know, easier said than done. ;-)

8:44 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

He's been fixed to your breast for a year--that ain't gonna be an easy habit to give up! One feeding a day is progress. Any progress is forward progress. Give him time, and he'll adjust with narry a scar to show for it.

Maybe a bottle with breastmilk in it would be more readily accepted for starters?

Love ya, hang in there.

1:49 PM  

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