Recently I woke up to realize my baby is now almost 3yrs old. This should not have come as a surprise to me. He’s extremely articulate (read chatty), physically advanced (read climbs to the top of dressers and jumps off), and potty trained (read pees outside on bugs and refuses diapers). None of this is baby behavior, so why is it so shocking to me that he’s not one?
Alas it is because he’s still breastfeeding! Which would be cool if we had a shortage of food, drink, and/or if it were to make him the smartest, strongest, bravest, most reasonable, compassionate, and respectful human to walk this earth. Studies remain inconclusive…
Here’s the crux of my marathon breastfeeding anxieties: If I don’t cut this kid off like now, we will have gone from the sweet bonding and beneficial stages to weird and wack! As is, I’m extremely lucky we have not been able to travel over the last 8 months. There’s nothing this kid loves more than popping onto the milkies for the duration of a long flight. Oh the stares I got when he was 2. I can only imagine the scarlet letter I’d get now if he were to order apple juice with just a touch of ice (but not too much) then turn to me, unbutton my shirt and sooth himself after getting rejected when told drinks were not available on this leg of the flight ….
All this to say, in a fit of panic, a few mornings ago, when I woke up to realize my son’s 3rd birthday was weeks away, I plotted out and booked a “Bye Bye Boo-Boo Before The Age of 3,” cutting off the breastfeeding, excursion. I made my best friend commit to joining me for 48 hours of wilderness (because, COVID y’all) in hopes that the milk monster would have a change of nursing heart by the time I returned.
As we inch closer to departure date, I find myself stopping to question what I’m doing. Is this how it should be going down? Should I really be going away to trick my son into thinking I am “dumping all the Milkies over the side of the mountain” to then come home and explain that it is all gone, no questions asked, no more nursing? If yes, it’s making what I hoped would be a rad get away with a long-lost friend feel downright dreadful. There are now strings attached, ultimatums and all sorts of other dooms-day-isms attached to what should be a fun, best friends get away.
Ahh yes this parenting at its best. A major project with no project manager. The biggest (and best) job you’ll ever have with no boss to tell you what you should be doing, keep you in check and/or help you succeed.
So what are we left with? Pray about it? Post your breastfeeding predicaments and questions to friends? Hit up mommy social media support groups? Google it? Yes, yes, and yes, but none of that and no one really will give you the answers you’re looking for because no one gets you and your children. No situation was exactly like yours and no one has a crystal ball.
As my son gets older, “real” problems will arise. For now, I am going to go away with my best friend for the sole purpose of enjoying her company and getting a little time to myself. When I get home, I will embrace all the snuggles, try not to care about the geriatric breastfeeding, and attempt to bribe him away from the boob with candy, soda, digital devices, and shows. Mom of the year right here!