Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Monday, June 11, 2012

Who Says...?

Who says he's not 
my baby anymore?

Today I stayed home from church with a sick little Tessa.  
A cold, and tummy trouble too.  I haven't been home on a Sunday maybe since just after Jonah boy was born.  After I read to Tessa on the Hammock, she went inside, and Jonah climbed up beside me and nursed.

Some people are shocked, I am sure, that I would still be nursing my 22 month old.  I could give you all of the statistics for why extended breast feeding is so good for children.  It boosts their immunity, it provides the exact long-chain fatty acids that form the myelin sheathing on the nerves in their brains which are still forming at age two, and it has been shown to even produce a larger vocabulary at an earlier age, from mamas that talk more to their babes during that great face-time.
 The list is longer than my stretch marks.

I suppose I do it for all of those reasons.  But there are other reasons that are not in some study somewhere, and will not make the headlines in Newsweek.  A busy toddler hasn't got much interest in hanging out with the mom-lady.  There are bugs to poke, dog-dishes to splash in, foreign objects to masticate (the sweet granny ladies at church have regular heart attacks when they see him head for a paper-wad on the floor).  There are toilet paper rolls to unwind, beds to bounce on, and entire stacks of laundry to unfold.  It's a busy life.  
So nowa-days, he comes to me for one of a few, too few, reasons:

To wash his hands... 
go figure, he cherishes marinating in his poopie diaper 
("Dop!" he yells at me to stop when I go for the clean dipe), 
but the dude's got to have clean hands. 

To kiss an owie.  He's a klutz so we're good for a 10-a-day minimum.

For "WaWa"  (any liquid) and "EAT!"

And to nurse.

Let me tell you how this goes down.  He looks at me as he is bumbling through the room on his next conquest.  Suddenly he hits the breaks, and sidles up next to me.  He leans on my knee, and tips his head to one side, looking up at me through those long lashes of his.  A sly little grin pulls his pink lips up into a shinny smile, and in a soft, cooing voice, he ever so tenderly mews,

and signs "milk please".

When I smile back, which I can't help but do, he giggles and moves his feet in a quickstep.  He knows a smile is yes.  And if it's not a yes, he knows I can be persuaded by another, higher pitched and even sweeter


I scoop him up and his busy agenda dissipates.  He cuddles into my arms that were shaped by four nurslings before him, and nuzzles while I sing to him or just talk and play with his toes.  Sometimes he pulls fuzz off my shirt, or stops to jabber at me.  He stares into my eyes, pokes the mole on my nose, and plays with my necklace.  He sometimes drifts off to sleep, and I love on him unabashedly, sniffing his skin and caressing his chubby fingers one by one.  But not so much lately.  When he is done, he pops up with a smile and a giggle that to me says, "Thanks, Mom, that was your best milk yet".
To which I croon, "Was it yummy?  I made it just for you!" 
And then he's off.

Off to his busy little world once more, increasingly within which, I play less and less of a roll.

I promise, I will not nurse him until he is four (even though that is the average age of weaning world-wide because the rest of the world doesn't think breasts belong to men).  Two and a half is about when my kiddos and I have mutually agreed to retire the nursing bra (though truth be told, I haven't owned a regular bra since the last century).  And I will be both ready and terribly sad when that day comes.

As I drifted into a rare nap on the hammock today with Jonah at my side, I felt so grateful that my Father in Heaven has given me this body to do this important work.   I have, in partnership with him, created tiny humans, and my body's job didn't stop there.  I have the continued blessing and honor of holding my babes in my arms a scant time longer to nourish and comfort them. 

Yes, he's still my baby.

This is what happens when you have sisters.  But because you also have brothers, it only lasts about 60 seconds.


julean said...

I miss those days...I'm pretty sure I got more out of nursing than our babies ever did.

Stephanie Heumann said...

Great post!

E. Phantzi said...

LOVE this post, and these photos! Delicious little squishy!