1/31/04: It just kinda happened.
The busy time of my parents visit was the catalyst and now, it is done. Jonathon has weaned.
A big part of me has to be reminded that it's missing. I find that when the reality crosses my mind I feel sad, but since that rarely happens I don't have many thoughts on the subject at all. I felt the same way for all my kids, actually, but I know I have the pangs of sadness because this was the last time I'll nurse a baby. And as with all things that reach a permanent end, there's a definite sense of loss.
And then I remind myself that of the 4, he was my longest nursling. Nearly 29 months. No, it isn't a statistic for Guiness, but it is for me. I can't say that I'm "proud for lasting so long", it just happened. All the planets were in alignment. I was well-educated about nursing, I was a veteran at it (not perfect, but I did learn each time), Jonathon demanded it and I didn't become pregnant soon after having him. Katherine was weaned at 4 months. Call it first-time mother stupidity. Rebecca weaned herself at 13 months, but she had been down to once a day nursing for a month by then. Nicholas weaned at 9 months. A growth spurt and pregnancy depletion hit at the same time and he wouldn't stand for it so he picked a cup with formula and never turned back.
Maybe I extended it on purpose, knowing he's my last. That's a valid supposition. It probably played a part, though I think ease of nursing was the biggest factor. It let me sleep in an extra hour on the days he woke way too early. It made bedtime simple and calming (how many times did I doze off while doing a final nursing for "just a minute"). When he was sick, it comforted him and me. It put him down for a nap faster than the car.
The numbers wore down over holiday vacation and by the time my parents flew home, Jonathon hadn't nursed in a couple days. Oh yes, he remembered, but by then the damage was done. He would continue to ask and I would allow, but by this week all it took was a few seconds to realize nothing was flowing and he'd hop off my lap. Periodically he will return to my side and with a goofy grin ask "Nurse?"
"Oh, silly boy, you don't want to nurse."
"Yes! Nurse!" he laughs at me.
"Nope, all done"
Pull his long, toddler, 28lb body up to me, with legs hanging off my lap and a hand that either shoves through the sleeve of my shirt or holds on to the cross of my bra. Remembering that tiny infant (Jonathon was my smallest baby at just 7lbs 11oz) who could fit with is head in the crook of my arm and my hand supporting his bottom. Skinny little legs and socks that wouldn't stay on his thin little feet. He had nursing jaundice, just like his siblings, but since none of them remained pumpkin colored I know they're fine.
After a try, he sits up distractedly and says "All done."
Yes, love. All done.