Sunday, November 21, 2010

Too little too fast

My youngest Muffin no longer needs me. I don't mean emotionally. Sustenance wise, he no longer needs me. He decided about 2 weeks ago, during a bout of very painful teething that the boob was just too painful. Trying to latch on just hurt his swollen raw gums too much for him to bear. So he didn't. He tried to, but every time he latched on, he cried pitifully. Rather than endure the pain of nursing, he went to bed hungry.

I thought that it was a phase. Once the offending red gums settled, he would resume nursing.

It's been two weeks since, his teeth are very clearly obvious but he rejects the boob the same way he did that first night when he discovered how painful it was.

We think, like Evan, he has decided, enough is enough.

It doesn't affect him one bit. He gets most of his feeds through the bottle anyway. In the last few months, he has become too distracted to feed effectively. The feeds with me were purely for me to hang with him and it was our special time together.

I'd come home from work and regardless of how late I was, I would be assured of that time with him where I would nurse him and he would fall asleep on my chest. For those 15 minutes, it would be just him and myself. My attention would not have to be split between him and the twins. I wouldn't be rushing anywhere. I would just inhale the top of his head, I would drift off and doze slightly in his darkened room and the stresses of the day would just melt off as I watched him work his mouth rhythmically on my boob.

What I used to be very tickled by was how Muffin at about 2-3 months, would fuss for a feed and couldn't be placated until he was put on. The very second he latched on and milk began mainlining into his mouth, his eyes would roll back, he would un-tense and he would zen out.

In a strange way, that is what he does for me now. It's not for him, at all. My reasons are purely selfish. I have some friends who are extremely jealous because they have preschoolers who refuse to wean and my child self-weans without any encouragement.

Evan self-weaned at about 11 months but it wasn't as traumatic for me because Jordan still nursed. That eased the transition for me. With Muffin, there isn't anyone or anything to soften the blow. There isn't a promise of another baby (I will state categorically here that no matter how much I will miss Muffin on the boob, it will never be enough to entice me to willingly subject myself through another pregnancy, childbirth and another teether to financial servitude). In fact, I think I mourn more for it because I know it will be my last.

But it's not something that I have control over. Muffin, more and more, is making himself known and heard. He has a mind of his own and does not hesitate to argue if sees it differently. He doesn't let his inability to speak hamper his ability to tell you what he exactly he thinks of it. He is so strong and so independent, even at 9 1/2 months old. Perhaps that is part of the reason why this time, it affects me so much more.

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