Monday, February 18, 2008

End of an Era

I feel like I've been punched in the gut.

I weaned Chamudi today.

He's fifteen months old, eating 3 full meals and 2 snacks of grown-up food a day. He's walking, talking, able to lift my shirt--aizeh chutzpah!--and ask for more. It's just time.

So I read up on how best to eliminate that last morning nursing, and then I went for it--when he woke up whisked him out of his crib and sat him right down for a big-boy breakfast. Lots of hoopla and smiles to keep the mood light. Then I dressed him in his big boy clothes and put on his big boy shoes, and let him watch music videos on Noggin while he waited for Abba to get ready. And avoided at all costs going anywhere near my bed, lest he pick up on the fact that this morning's routine was anything but.

Everyone talks about how to make the weaning process easier on your child but you don't hear much about how to make it easy on Ima. I've got a knot at the pit of my stomach that is all too familiar--it's that stomachache I've always gotten when I finally screw up my courage to end a relationship whose time has passed.

I've been talking this up to him all week. He understands more than ever these days, so I figured why just spring it on him when I can get him--and me--used to the idea? So I've been explaining to him, "Nursies all gone soon" and talking about how he's such a big boy and about how much fun we're going to have together. And how--and this one was probably really just for me--it's not really an end but a beginning--that our Ima-Chamudi relationship is growing and changing, not ending.

And yet--this morning I couldn't wait to get him out of the apartment. The whole thing was just so sad for me and I wanted to scream "Just go, go if you have to. If you're going to leave me like this, just go. Don't linger, don't make it so hard. " I think it's going to be a while before I really get used to this new world.

I'm sure there will be some showdowns ahead--when he wakes up in the middle of the night for some reason and is intent on nursing. And it remains to be seen if I'll have the stomach to carry it through.

But deep down, I know it's time--for him, for me, and for our family. And that no matter what, I will still be his Ima and he will still be my Chamudi.


Maya said...

I hope you celebrate it for you, too. When I wean my girl, I plan on getting a wonderful new bra! Good luck.

Joyous Jewess said...

Mazel tov! When I weaned my little ones a few months ago, it was WAY harder on me than on them -- they didn't even really seem to notice! Occasionally, one of them will stick their hand up my shirt for a quick fondle for comfort, but other than that, they never seemed to look back. It's bittersweet. But try to enjoy the liberating aspects of it for yourself, if you can. Your body is (mostly) your own again!

Abbi said...

Tip for keeping up the night weaning: Abba has to step in to do the night comforting until he's really forgotten all about the nursies.

They do forget, but it helps if you can stay strong.

mother in israel said...

Congrats on making it to 15 months! Weaning causes hormonal changes that affect your emotions as well, which is another reason gradual weaning is important. Enjoy the next stage of parenting; your baby still needs you just as much.