Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Weaning

Happy birthday to you, Henry! Your wonderful present is that you no longer get to do the one thing that you love more than anything, the one thing you ask for when you are afraid or hurt or lonely, the one thing that is only yours in this household where you wield so little power and control.

Don’t you know you are such a big boy? You are so big now! You use the big boy potty and ride a big boy bike! And you don’t get nursies any more! Yay!!!

To be fair to myself, I decided to try the cold turkey method out as a test. I figured that I could always go back to letting Henry nurse. But when I asked him if he wanted to stop nursing after his third birthday, he said yes. So I decided to go with it and give it a shot. So we talked it up, Craig and I.

With Luke, child-led weaning worked out. The philosophy worked with the child, and with a few gentle nudges from me, Luke weaned at two and a half.

But Henry wasn’t showing many signs of cutting back. And he persisted in waking up every morning at 4:45 a.m. with the hopes of scoring a hit off the nursies, even though I supposedly night weaned him a year and a half ago. I guess he has been hoping all this time to convince me that 4:45 is the morning. And the whining for nursies at any and all times of day was doing me in.

And, I’ll admit, part of my desire to wean has been that no one around here, from what I can tell, nurses a kid that can talk. And Henry can certainly talk.

“Mom, can I have my nursies?” he yelled across the library one day.

And, “Can I tell the nursies that I love them?” once when we had friends over for dinner.

The cold-turkey method has gone really well, actually, with only a few episodes of whining and begging. I have generally been able to distract Henry.

But part of me worries that I’m doing some sort of damage. He has started sucking his thumb a little bit—albeit halfheartedly and in imitation of Luke—and the other day, a month after his birthday, he looked earnestly into my eyes and asked to nurse.

“I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. Is it time for nursies YET?”

He is a persistent child.

5 comments:

Beck said...

I nursed the Boy until he was a very verbal nearly two.
"Undo your shirt, mama," he'd say. "I want to nurse."
It was disconcerting!
My husband brought him downstairs to sleep for a week, and once he stopped nursing at night, he lost all interest in daytime nursing.
Good luck!

so yung said...

i wonder if slurping noodles would help. sitting here wondering what it is about nursing/sucking thumb that's comforting and am guessing it's the complete package - cuddling, being enveloped in warmth, etc.

noodles could potentially satisfy the mouth action, the tummy, and the warmth would spread from the inside out instead of the other way. and they both start with "n"! i think it's time to break out the udon ... let me know how that works out.

obviously, i have not had to wean anything during this existence of mine.

Jenny said...

"Can I tell my nursies that I love them?" HA! That is totally adorable.

Thanks for the chuckle this morning, and the glimpse into your world--it feels good to stay close this way.

Nancy said...

If so yung is right, perhaps this is why Hazel loves noodles so much. However, since she and Emily both self-weaned at 5.5, well into their respective careers as noodle eaters, maybe there is no relation at all.

I think 3 is a very respectable age to wean. You did your service admirably well, and he is a healthy boy. They both, to all appearances, have healthy palates and good dental development. I'm just glad that you were nursing throughout my nursing career, so I had you as a partner in crime!

Troy W said...

my first post on your blog, ser! i laughed out loud. the kind where you close your eyes and put your head back. twice! i'm glad that in lew of being able to live in the clintonville slums just down the road from you guys i get to enjoy these stories about one of my favorite families! please give my congrats to big boy henry!