Gus-Gus is just about 16 months old now, and still breastfeeding. He’s gone on longer than my other boys, who still all made it past a year. The first one quit because I became pregnant again, the second because he was the same age as when his older brother was weaned, and the third because I was going out of town for a few days. Every time, I was kind of sad to finish nursing my babes. Each time, it was my decision to stop breastfeeding, not the baby’s.
I’ve gotten only a few comments suggesting that it’s about time to wean him, and a few raised eyebrows. Even moms I know who breastfeed for a long time have finished long before this stage. I find myself giggling and promising he won’t be a kid who keeps nursing until he’s five or six. Why do I feel the need to make excuses?
I don’t know if it’s because my days raising babies are numbered, or because I’ve gotten lazy, but I’m not really pushing weaning this time around, and I’m pretty sure that’s the right thing for us now. Gus and I have cut out a feeding or two, but we’re still entrenched in our wonderful, snuggly habit. Well, kind of. Lately, after just a minute or two of eating, he has been arching his back and rolling right off my lap, refusing to eat any more (and leaving me with a plethora of milk!).
I always thought that weaning an older baby would be harder, because he would be more aware of what he was getting and where it came from. (Does anyone remember the weaning of Gussie in the book “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?” One of the funniest stories I’ve read, because I’m pretty sure it was true!) Possibly, this could be the easiest weaning yet! Gus-Gus is just turning into a feisty, wiggly, curious little boy who has no time for lounging in his mama’s arms.
Maybe the reason I’m not in any rush is that with each successive boy, time speeds up and I become more aware of how fast they are growing away from me. I love watching my boys grow, and I know it’s a good thing, but I will never again hold my first three babies in my arms. (Well, not as babies. They hardly fit on my lap now!) Looking back, I can see all the times I rushed them forward, wanting them to grow up or move on past whatever phase they were in.
My boys are growing up so fast, and I have no desire to speed up the process at all. Society pushes kids to grow up way too early, and I don’t think they need added pressure from mom and dad. There are things I will be happy to leave behind (tantrums! diapers!), but there are some sweet moments I will miss with an ache in my heart. I will miss nursing my babes, even when this littlest guy can’t decide between breastfeeding and climbing on furniture, so I’ll let my baby be a baby as long as I can.