I am a survivor. Over 40 hours in labor? Check. Months of colic? You betcha. Nursing woes, complete with more blood, cracks and blisters than every runner of the New York Marathon combined? Uh-huh. Hormonal issues post-baby that left me weak, nauseous, and scary moody? Yessir. A baby who didn’t sleep through the night until she was 17 months old? Yeppers. I did it. I got through all of this crap, and survived with a smile on my face (at least most, OKAY, some of the time). But recently that smile has turned into a frown. A giant, ugly, pouty face frown. Why, you ask? Because I am trying to wean Baby 1.0, and it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
Now it would be cute to think I’m struggling because of the special bond she and I share while I nourish her from me bosoms, her tiny body curled around mine, while we lovingly gaze into each others eyes. But that would be a lie, because nursing sessions in our house more closely resemble an Olympic Greco-Roman style wrestling match, complete with a lot of slapping (she slaps me, just to be clear), and clothing tugging. It’s ugly, but it gets the job done. But now, at the ripe old age of nearly two, it’s time to put the ladies into retirement. And that’s not going over well with Baby 1.0, who, if the decision was left up to her, would forgo all forms of “real” food and receive her nourishment exclusively in liquid form until she was able to drive.
Discussing this with my husband, who has a PhD in addiction studies, he is able to draw an easy parallel between Baby 1.0 and, say, a heroin addict. She’s addicted to the act of nursing, even though at this point whatever drops of milk I produce aren’t meeting her full nutritional needs. She is perpetually chasing the nursing Green Dragon, so to speak. He says things like “reward center” and waves his hands in front of my chest while labeling my lady bits “stimuli,” and suggests I stay strong and not give in. This is all well and good, and I agree with him. But it doesn’t help when all day, every day, Baby 1.0 chases me and my “stimuli” around the house yelling “MORE NUH!” (nuh being her word for nursing), while trying to rip my clothes off.
Our interactions tend to go something like this:
Me: “Good morning precious baby! How did you sleep?”
Baby 1.0: “More nuh.”
Me: “Okay, can I get you some cereal?”
Baby 1.0: “No cereal. More nuh.”
Me: “I’m sorry my love, but we need to eat food today. Can I get you a bar?”
Baby 1.0: “No bar. More nuh. More nuh. More nuh. Morenuhmorenuhmorenuh!”
Me: “No nuh, my dear. Eggs? Turkey? Orange? Banana? Milk? Yogurt? Cheese? Beans? Hummus? Packet? Park? Walk? Book? Color? Blocks? Shake it off song? ANYTHING other than nuh. Is there anything other than nuh in the whole entire world that Mommy can get you that will make you happy?”
Baby 1.0: “Eggs.”
Me: “EGGS!?! Of course! Let me make you eggs!”
Baby 1.0: “No eggs. More nuh.”
Upon being served a plate of eggs, the day rapidly dissolves until she is laying on the floor, like a dying vampire, moaning, rolling around and wailing for “more nuh.” I’m fairly certain our neighbors think we have another kid named Mona who Baby 1.0 is always looking for.
The intelligent part of me knows this is temporary, and in the grand scheme of things, weaning will only make up a very small part of our story. But the other part of me, the part that houses my ears, feels like if I hear “More nuh!” one more time, I might explode.
Got any weaning horror stories you’d like to share? I can’t be the only one going through this right now.