So after almost eight months solid of nursing, Miss C finally rejected nursing the other night. Up until that moment, the booby had always been my secret weapon, my last ditch effort, my sure-fire way to calm and soothe. But not that night. I offered several times, on each side. She was not interested. Peanut was more interested in fussing for an unprecedented hour, from midnight to one in the morning, rather than being calmed by what was most familiar.
She did it again last night and the night before, as I was putting her to bed. We always rock and nurse for about ten minutes, before I put her down for the night. But after five minutes, she declared that she was done. She didn't fuss, she simply unlatched and was content to look around the room, at me, at her feet. Anywhere but the booby.
I knew that I wanted to nurse for as long as possible. At least a year, because -afterall- "that's best." So when she didn't care for the bottle, I didn't push it. We missed that window. And now she plays with or bites on the sippy cup more than she actually sips. But at least she still nurses. For now.
The mixed emotions I feel about this sudden rejection are a bit surprising. Nursing was the one thing that I could claim as solely "ours". No one else can do this for her. Total mommy and me time. ...but now my little baby is getting bigger, and thrusting her independence on me.
If someone had told me six months ago that she would start to reject nursing, I would have thought it a semi-relief. At that time, it was such a chore; and all for a little lump. A lump, granted, that I had fallen madly in love with, and for whom I would do absolutely anything in the world. But that lump at the time was tying me down, making me on-call at any and all hours. She fed every two hours for the first 3 months of her life. So if someone had told me then that an end would be in sight at eight months, the past-me would have been happy for the present-me. (Does that make a lick of sense?)
But perhaps the rejection of nursing, in its beginning stages, shadows something much more looming, that I simply don't want to see, or don't want to acknowledge: my little girl is rapidly approaching toddlerhood, and nearing the end of her infancy. Miss C has been pulling up on everything she can, chattering like crazy, and trying so hard to be a big girl who can walk and talk. I feel like that LUMP too quickly became an on-the-go little girl.
I am reminded of the popular infant clothing line "Just One Year". So true. So very true. Infancy is but a fleeting moment in an entire lifespan, yet so sweet and precious. It is the one time in one's life when they are pure and innocent. I remember really absorbing this idea when she WAS a little lump, knowing that her first year would be behind us well before Tim and I would ever be ready for it. And now, she has completed two-thirds of her first year.
Well, on Monday that will be the case. For now, she's still "just" seven months.
Regardless of whatever stage we stumble in to, I plan to continue to soak up every single second of this amazing life. All the big and little moments she has, and I am just eternally greatful that I am here to share almost all of them with her. And until she says so more firmly, I will continue to nurse my little Peanut.