Meaning to Wean / by Susie Lubell

We're still in Israel and thankfully everyone has adjusted to the ten hour time zone difference. We're having a terrific time. Grandparents are doing plenty of babysitting and my husband and I have been taking full advantage.

But this isn't a travel log so I won't bore you. With the travel details anyway. I'll bore you with other details. My daughter's been slowly weaning herself over the last few months, basically since I went back to work when she was six months old. I pumped twice a day at work for nearly three months after going back but it was getting to be too annoying to spend twenty minutes on the pump only to get one ounce of milk. Plus there wasn't exactly a designated place to pump so I'd end up hiding in the corner of an empty office with no window blinds hoping that no one would barge in. It wasn't super conducive to milk flow. So of course my supply dropped. And my daughter was eating a lot more food by then so that was fine. But I wasn't ready for her to give up the boob altogether. I actually really like nursing. So I continued to nurse her in the evenings and the mornings and once at night.

But then she sort of wanted a bottle more than a boob before bed and then sometimes I'd leave for work in the morning right after she woke up so I didn't have the chance to feed her...and little by little those feedings went the way of the pump. But I continued to indulge her night feeding(s) because I didn't want her to give up on nursing altogether. And that's where we are right now. She cries at 4 or 5am and we nurse together. I think once we're home after the trip she'll have to give up her early morning beverage just because I need my 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So I'm trying to savor these last few pre-dawn sessions and all of my daughter's funny nursing idiosyncrasies. For example...

Sometimes she spends the whole time twirling her hair. So adorable. Or she'll have one arm wrapped around my back and be whapping me on the chest with her free arm. Less adorable. But by far my favorite move is when she takes out her pincer and tries to pull the freckles off my chest. Or the flowers off my pajamas. One by one she goes in with her little claw trying to remove whatever markings, blemishes, or loose threads are in her field of vision. All the while making her snarfle noises. Sometimes she catches my eye and gives me a smile which I always appreciate. But then it's right back to work de-pilling my sweater.