As I write this, you are doing something we never thought possible: You are letting Daddy put you to sleep. Very suddenly, last Tuesday, November 25, 2008, you weaned yourself from breastfeeding. I'm talking cold turkey, man. You have not asked for it since. You have been very sick with an ear infection and I thought maybe you were refusing to nurse because of pain when you lay down. But nursing has always been your comfort. I've been your "binky" for 16 months. It seemed like you would need me more than ever with your first real illness.
On Tuesday, I was putting you to bed. We laid down and put "Charlie Bird" on the iPod, like always. You were fine through at least "Four Funky Fish Play Fiddle" and then you popped off, sat up and leaned against the bed rail. You sighed and rubbed your eyes. I knew your ear was hurting you, so I sat up and said "Come to Mama." You came and put your head on my shoulder and fell asleep almost instantly. You have never done that. I eased you onto the bed after a few minutes and you stayed put. You didn't nurse all night and have not nursed since.
The next few days were full of illness, the harrowing kind with high fevers and severe congestion. You didn't even want me to comfort you. All you wanted was Daddy. I'll admit that that made me very sad. When you let me hold you, it was for snuggling and sleeping only. No nursies. You spent the better part of 4 nights in my arms while I lay awake listening to your labored breathing. After 3 doctor's visits, you are finally on the mend, but still not nursing.
Last night, you slept with Daddy all by yourself. I haven't slept all night without you next to me since before you were born, but I had only slept an average of 3 hours a night for 4 days and needed some rest. You didn't wake once and were just as pleased to cuddle with him. I never thought I'd see the day.
I had heard terrifying tales of night weaning, involving several nights of crying and fighting, but you did this all on your own. Just like everything you have done - rolling, crawling, walking - once you decide to do it, you just take off. I guess you decided that nursies were "ALL DONE!" (your favorite exclamation) and that you didn't need to look back. I'm still kind of in shock. Keep in mind that, until September when we day weaned you, you were the baby who never went more than 2-3 hours without your milkies. Ever. Never mind what the books and doctors said. At the beginning, we were nursing 12 out of 24 hours a day. Needless to say, we were experts. I thought you would be very tough to wean, since you were so hooked. As usual, you proved me wrong.
I'm very happy I was able to give you the best of what I had for so long. I'm also very sad that it ended before I knew what was happening. I know I've complained about your booby-monster ways, but I really cherished our special time together. You have just grown up so fast that I kind of liked that you were still a baby in that one way.
So, before I start weeping, here is a funny story that really shows just how done you are with this whole breastfeeding thing. The other morning, I was getting out of the shower. Sometimes, you like to come in and say hi to me (and your bath toys). As I wrapped up in my towel, you looked at me and signed "milk." I smiled. You then proceeded to pick up my bra from my pile of clean clothes and hand it to me, as if to say, "Geez, Mom. Put those things away, will ya?" I get it, Harry. "ALL DONE!"