Monday, June 26, 2006

Maddy is weaned.

I just realized this morning that it's been just about three weeks since she last asked to nurse. At 32 months, we obviously nursed a lot longer than most, but it still is quite the transition for me and obviously for her.

It's tinged with not a small measure of regret because it was definitely my choice to end it. I was really feeling quite put out by nursing and I'm sorry to say that there were tears and resentment in the process. It wasn't, in any sense of the word, an ideal weaning process. She seems no worse for the wear, but it breaks my heart that she had to give up something she still wanted and that it was done in an emotional and knee-jerk way. Nothing about the last year or so of nursing has been really on her terms. In fact, nothing about the last 18 months of nursing has been mostly on her terms. Yes, I know it's a partnership, but I wanted very much to let her have this one thing solely on her terms. And I failed, I think.

It makes me sad to realize that she's not asking anymore not because she probably wouldn't love it, but because she doesn't think she's allowed. And that makes me sad. It makes me want to offer because I know her eyes would light up with joy and she'd leap into my lap, ready for a cuddle and a nurse. But I don't want it anymore and it's why we've been doing this reluctant dance for months now. I'm afraid that it would be far crueler to let her have "milky" once every few days or once a week only when I'm nice enough to offer and make her cry at other times when I refuse her, than to let her just deal with its permanent departure. Plus, the milk's gone.

On the surface it seems we were wildly successful with nursing--and I recognize that in a lot of ways we were--but in the most important regard, the unconditional security of mommy, I feel failure.

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