Friday, February 26, 2010


I don't think I like change. I like routine. Sure the same old stuff every day can get boring. The girls change. They grow. Mary goes to school, Ellie can walk and climb. I'm pretty surprised Ellie isn't a baby anymore. Wasn't she just born yesterday? Heck, wasn't Mary? Now I'm looking forward and choosing a school for her for next year. She will be going 5 days a week. I think she'll just be going half days, unless she loves it so much that we decide to do full days. It will be odd to have her gone every day, and it will also be strange to just be here with Ellie.

One thing that I wanted to change a YEAR ago was that I wanted to wean Mary. She's only been nursing once a day for maybe 6 or 8 months now. I've still been nursing her to sleep every night. Because it's easy, it puts her right to sleep (like 6 to 10 minutes and she's out cold), and she doesn't seem ready for change. I've seen many references that the average worldwide weaning age is about 4.2 years (although I am not sure what all variables were considered in that figure). I've also read that if all mammals were on the same lifespan (like, if a dog year is 7 human years or whatever) that humans would nurse until they were 6 or 7. I was just looking for a strong reference for the 4.2 years statistic, and saw that a natural age for weaning might be 6 times the gestation of that species, or 4.5 years for humans. Nursing is a two person relationship. In my nursing relationship with Mary there are two people that want two different things. I want to be done, and she does not. I finally told her yesterday that I was done. It wasn't the first time I've mentioned it to her. Last fall we discussed that she would only nurse on school nights when she was 4 (something she came up with). When we got to her birthday, she changed her mind. She still wanted to nurse every night. And so we did. Until last night. I just told her that I didn't want to nurse anymore. I told her I loved her and respected her opinion. I told her we'd still nurse on school nights (which we've defined as three nights a week). She cried. She cried a lot. And she was hurt. She was shocked. I told her I wasn't mad, and that I loved her very much. I told her it was a compromise. That it was 3 nights a week, or none. She chose three. So last night, she didn't nurse and seemed okay with it. John put her to bed. Tonight she asked if it was a school night yet, and I told her no. She asked if she could nurse anyway. I said no. She cried a bit. She told me she didn't think she could wait that long. But then she was okay, and again John put her to bed without any problems. Later this spring, when there are no more school nights, I will be completely done. Mary will be 4 years and 4 months old. I will have done my time and loved (almost) every minute of it. I am proud of sticking with it. I remember how proud I was when we made it a week, and a month. I never dreamed I'd nurse her this long. I didn't plan on it when she was born. I just got through it one day at a time. But now it's time for a change, for a new chapter in Mary's life and a new chapter in mine.


Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

Woo Hoo for you! You've done great! :)
Good job Mary! :)


Mandy said...

You did good!

In fact, I don't know how you did it. Jack will be 1 on Friday and I feel done already. I know it is just b/c he is so needy about it right now (pregnancy + toddler), but I wonder if I'll make it until the new baby gets here.