Bye Bye Night Night

Posted: January 24th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Miss Kate | 1 Comment »

The night before last I nursed Kate for the last time. At the time I didn’t know it would be the last time, and it’s probably better that way.

Last night Mark was reading Kate her bedtime books. (We’re big fans of Pippo here.) When he was done and gave me the “you’re up” signal to come in and nurse her, I was all engrossed in some work thing. Every other night that I’ve been home when she’s gone to bed–which is roughly every night of her life minus three–I’ve nursed her before she’s gone to sleep. But, kooky kids that we are, we decided on the fly that Mark would give her a bottle. (It’s wild like that around here sometimes.)

Even though the plan had been to wean her around her first birthday, I’ve been nursing her a few times a day up until around Christmastime. The thing was, I went back to work the day after her first birthday–right when I’d been planning to wean her. And when I’d get home at night, she’d see me and start to cry for “night-night,” her way of requesting a suckle. (Since it always happened before sleep she somehow got her vocabulary lines crossed there.)

So I’d give in. Why deny the little angel-puss who I’d abandonned with a nanny all day a little Mama’s milk? After 8 hours at the office I’d missed her too, and it was our way of reconnecting (quite literally). It was just too hard to make the change then.

But the practical side of me knew the transition would have to happen some time. And I’ve prided myself on being able to fairly deftly move Kate through other changes (our bed to co-sleeper to her crib, for instance). And it seems like the older she gets, and more able to express her desires and, sure, even have tantrums, these transitions can be more challenging.

Even though the nursing provides a calm bonding moment in some otherwise hectic days, and I’ve wondered why I should deny her something that’s so easy for me to provide, I’ve gotten really frustrated with it at times, and just wanted my body back. I’d storm around the kitchen while Mark was cooking. “That’s it! I want to stop this now! I don’t want to be nursing her when she’s seven–even if we live near Berkeley!” (This is one of those sudden-onset dramatic moments that understandably make men roll their eyes and say, “Women!”)

Then the next day Kate would want night-night, and I’d give in, and we were back to our old ways.

Last night when Mark emerged from putting her down I asked how it went. “Did she do okay? Would she take any of the bottle?” These all being code for, “Was it obvious that she really missed me?”

Turns out she was totally fine. Mark said she drank a lot of the bottle actually, then he plopped her into her crib, and she started her usual putting-herself-to-sleep moaning. No drama.

Of course, it galled me slightly. But more than that, I realized it was probably an opportunity. Maybe the other night, with neither of us even realizing it, should be the last time I nursed Kate. Otherwise, what happens when I plan the last time? It becomes like the over-hyped last cigarette. I start weeping pathetically and clutching her to my breast while my mind envisions La Leche League volunteers encircling the house chanting, “Don’t stop! Don’t stop!” I just don’t have the fortitude for that.

So, I think we’re just going to go cold turkey. We’ll miss night-night, Kate and I. But I’m sure we’ll find some other things to do together, and we’ll be just fine.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “Bye Bye Night Night”

  1. 1 RookieMom Heather said at 1:28 pm on January 25th, 2007:

    Awww, I think 2 things when I read this.
    1. Holden completely foiled my plan for weaning by stopping about a week before my intended phase-out.
    2. Now that I’ve been pregnant or nursing for all but 2 months of my still-young marriage, I encourage you to live it up! Whoot whoot!

Leave a Reply