Okay, so, BigDaddyFish and I went away three weeks ago, and Friday the 20th was the last time I nursed Nemo. He was really upset about us going away, so I lay down with him on my bed and snuggled him up close and nursed him until he fell into that drunken, post-nurse deep sleep. I picked him up and held him close, no easy feat as he's grown and I haven't and I'm not overly big to begin with and he's more than half my size at 2 years old, but I held him close and breathed in the smell of the top of his head, kissed him, and tucked him into his crib. Then BDF and I left for the trip. And Nemo did fine while we were gone.
When we got back, he asked to nurse that day, but was easily distracted by the presents we brought, and then he fell asleep that night in his high chair. I thought "Oh, yay, this went great! I am a weaning Diva!" because I am a total moron. The next night, though, when he didn't fall asleep in his high chair and I had to put him to bed because BDF couldn't, it was awful. He cried and cried. He begged for nummies. I snuggled up with him and gave him hugs and kisses and a sippy cup of water and just loved on him, but it ended with both of us in tears until he finally fell asleep.
I told myself it would get better. In time, he'd get used to it. After all, that's what happened when we forcibly evicted Sunny just shy of age 2. She asked a couple of times, then that was it. But not my poor Nemo.
He has asked every day of the three weeks, save two, and one of those he asked to just see them instead of nursing (and I respectfully declined to acquiesce to his request). And the past few days he's been sick. He's got a slight fever, and a sore throat, and a runny nose, and he wants his nummies. Saturday BDF and I went out for a quick date, just a decent dinner in peace and quiet (so we went to a pool hall, because that's quiet to us) to cap off a particularly stressful week, and Nemo cried and asked to nurse. Three weeks of no nursing, but I've still got milk, because it let down, and I cried. Superbabysitter told us to just go, and said he fell asleep pretty much right after we left. When we went upstairs to go to bed, I moved Nemo from our bed to his crib (which is just at the foot of the bed anyway) and he stirred and started to whimper a bit about the covers, and when I tucked his blanket in around his shoulders he mumbled "Thanks, Mom." My milk let down again. He's still sick, and the thought of at least pumping and giving him whatever I can pump has crossed my mind. The thought of nursing him crossed my mind, too, and I wondered again why the heck I wanted to wean him in the first place. Am I evil and selfish? What's wrong with nursing til age 3? He gets so much from it, why can't I give that to him? Then I remembered the pinches, the bites, the wrestling matches, the yanking on me, the trying to play with one nipple while he nursed from the other, and I felt less guilty. Not guiltless, but less guilty.
I've given him plenty of love, of cuddling and hugs and kisses and all his favorite things. We've tried to replace the closeness he got from nursing with other loving activities that don't involve my breasts. I've been covering up when he's around, not showering with him (and let me tell you, I never thought it'd be such a delight to shower ALL BY MYSELF), not changing when he's in the room. When I put him to bed, I lay him down in our bed and lay with him spooned in front of me, and I rub his back or put my arm around him and rub his tummy, hoping that will give him the skin to skin contact that he needs. One day I know he won't want me anywhere near him, and I'll miss these days. But it is oh so hard sometimes to remain resolute. I guess that's why they call weaning a process.