Friday, December 3, 2010

Then and Now

A year ago today, it was the eve of my--actually, my baby's--due date. I spent my morning at Riverblaze Bakery, writing and thinking and playing their old console piano with the few sticky keys. I'd been so sure that Baby "Scout" would come early, having "dropped" weeks before. But no ... it looked like "he" (I just knew Scout was a boy) was going to come on his due date or later.

So I waited. Little did I know that I had a few more days of waiting, and several hours-long episodes of "false labor" to go before Scout would finally make her entrance.

Now our little Anne Megan is almost one year old. She's begun to wean herself, I think. She shows little interest in her evening nursing session, and is absolutely indifferent to her midday one. Every workday for the past ten months, I've made the lunch-hour trip to Anne's sitter's house so she could nurse and we could cuddle. She still likes to cuddle, but nurse ...? Nah. Let me cuddle a bit with mommy, and then I'll go back to my books and toys, thank you very much.

So, a year after her due date, I'm going to stop making my midday visits. This makes me a little sad because I miss her during the day, and those visits "hold me over" until I can pick her up after work. But work is getting busier--the all-too-familiar 55-hour weeks of late development season have begun--and Anne is getting more independent.

I'd hoped to nurse her for several more months, and maybe I will; she does still love her morning and before-bed nursing sessions. I love them, too, so I hope we'll keep doing those for a while.

Still, my Li'l Boo is growing up. Soon we'll celebrate her first birthday. She's climbing stairs and walking everywhere (with her walker). When she's in the bathtub, I can say, "Li'l Boo, where's your duck?" "Where's your butterfly?" "Where's the washcloth?" "Where's the cup?" "Where's the drain?" "Where's your belly button?" And she hands me what I've asked for, or points if it's the drain or her belly button.

She is such a little miracle, and I love her so much. She's been sick with a combination of teething and a bad cold this past week, so we've had a few sleepless nights. But even then, there's something so sweet about being able to go to my crying daughter at 3 a.m. and comfort her. Even if I can't make her feel physically better, it's clear that the mommy-time--the cuddling and the nursing--work wonders for her and help her go back to sleep.

"B" of the blog Unexpectedly Expecting Baby recently posted this poem. It's one that, pre-motherhood, I would probably have thought was cheesy. But I'm a whole 'nother creature now, and it had me all sniffly and sobby.

Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardall

I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.
But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.
I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.
Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.
I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.
Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.
I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.
This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don't break it abruptly.
Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.

Don't grow up too fast, Li'l Boo.

3 comments:

The Dahmens said...

Happy almost due date! Can you believe it has been a year? It does go by sooo fast, and they do grow up too fast! When they are sick it really is miserable, but it shows how much they do need mama and love mama!

B said...

Awww :) Right? I would've felt the same way pre-motherhood, and now I'm dreading the day with tear-filled eyes that A stops nursing :(

Miz Delphi Chassis said...

Lizzie finally stopped nursing altogether a couple months before he second birthday. She still asks to see and sniff my boobs every now and then, just to make sure they're still there if she needs them, I guess. I miss the morning nursing sessions when we could snuggle in my bed and we (I) could drift back to sleep for a little while. Sigh...