This post was originally published on Role Reboot and has been republished with full permission.
Our youngest son moved his berry lips from the dark of my nipple to the paler, smoother skin around the corner and blew a raspberry on my right breast.
He did this intermittently between bits of what could best be described as hum-nursing, or sing-nursing. Sometimes, he would also launch his bum into the air as if in downward dog.
That’s not weird at all.
That was my husband, from across the room.
I know, you probably agree with him.
Our baby is no longer a baby. He’s a toddler. He is a walking, talking, running, laughing, throwing and dancing toddler. He loves pasta and salami, fruit of any kind and cucumbers. He no longer sleeps in our bed, and he carries his sneakers out from his room in the morning. He’s making it clear that he’d like to be treated like the big kids.
He wants to do what his four-year-old brother does. Last week, he took off his diaper in the bathroom and started to pee. I tried to stand him over the “potty” but he wasn’t interested in that little baby potty. He wanted to be at the big toilet. You can imagine this scene unfolding, with him spinning like a renegade sprinkler.
His name is William. I like formal names, but you can call him Will.
He’s my second son, and probably our last baby.
I’ve been packing away the clothes every few months, a routine many are familiar with: three months, six months, nine months and so on, until they are into the 2T clothes and life starts to feel sane again. I’ve been folding things with more of a finality the second time around, placing them into the plastic storage bin to be passed on, sold at the consignment store or donated. The “Little Monstah” onesie. Soft sweaters with teensy white buttons. A brown sweatshirt with little stiches of orange thread that spell “Home Grown”. Dozens of mismatched socks.
It’s been a little sad but I’m ready for the next phase of motherhood. I made a plan to stop nursing, and I did, about a month ago. Right now, he’s out with his brother and dad, and I’m crying into a blue hat that says “Little Cutie”.
You are probably thinking one of a few things.
Maybe it’s: You should have kept going! The World Health Organisation says to breastfeed up to two years or beyond. Who cares if people think it’s weird!?
Or maybe you’re thinking: Enough already. Of course you should be done breastfeeding! What’s the big deal? Move on!
Or maybe: Eeww. This whole thing is gross.
But it’s a big deal, and it’s complicated.