Violet and I were sharing some time on the couch after returning home from school and work. I decided I would ask her “what’s your favorite thing about having milkies?” I wasn’t sure what she would answer. I thought perhaps she would say the milk. She looked up at me with smiling, sparkling eyes for a moment. Then she pointed her short chubby finger up at me and touched it down onto my chest and said “you mama!” I said “what about me?” She replied, “I love my milkies mama because I love you. I love to be with you.” Then she also said that she, of course likes the taste of her milkies too.
Love can be shown in so many ways to our children. Spending time together is one of the most important ways, in my opinion. For Violet, when we sit down or lay down to nurse she gets my undivided attention. We look into each others’ eyes and we share a conversation without speaking. I am thinking of her and she is thinking about me. I know this because I have asked her, “what are you thinking about now sweetheart?” She usually answers, “you.” These moments are so precious and so sweet. Sometimes during a nursing session she will stop and ask me questions about my day or tell me something about her day. Breastfeeding such a vocal child is so rewarding in so many ways.
This connection that we have will not last forever. One day she will not need her milkies anymore. I have told her over and over that she can have her milkies until she is ready to not have them anymore. I tell her this not to try to encourage her to stop, but to let her know that she has the ability to decide when she wants to stop. These conversations usually happen after she asks me if “so and so” still has milkies. For example, her cousin and aunt that she looks up to so much are 9 and 10 years old. She has asked if they still have milkies. I explain to her that they had them before but they don’t have them anymore. She asked me why they stopped. I told her that they stopped because they were ready to stop. Violet is very much into role play. She loves to pretend to be her Aunt or her cousin and many other people or animals that she loves. When she is pretending to be someone who doesn’t breastfeed she will tell me “I am Maddie now so I am ready to not have milkies anymore. But then I will be Violet again ok, Mama?” I always play along.
I see her reaching out for her independence. I am watching her experiment with letting go. I will not hold her back and I will not push her forward. I am lovingly letting her be and letting her discover this on her own. She still nurses quite frequently when we are home together all day. But I know that she is thinking about it more than she used to. We co-sleep and she still nurses to sleep as well. Sometimes she will tell me that she just wants to fall asleep by herself. I let her try and wait for her to ask for me. A few times she has just fallen asleep laying on top of me instead of nursing. We will take this journey at what ever speed she chooses. I will cherish these days for as long as I live. This journey has been a lot longer than I expected it to be but I have not regretted one day of it.
Are you still nursing a toddler or preschooler?
When did you start to see a change in their frequency?