moving on

There are big changes happening around here.  We have now officially weaned.....  I've been ready for a long time, and in many ways of course so has she, but that night time and/or early (early) morning waking was my weak spot for so long.  So much easier to just give in and lay with her.  Nurse her back to sleep.  I always thought we'd be done by the time she turned two.  Well, she is two.  Two and (ahem) a bit.  Quite a bit.  Anyway, she is smart and saying no when she was sick at night recently was easy because I think she got it.  Food goes in, food comes out.  Water goes in, water comes out.  Milk goes in, milk comes out.  So here we are, almost a week later.  The last time she nursed was early, early in the morning last Saturday, after not having nursed for a day and a half because she'd been ill.  I'd hesitated, saying I didn't want her to get sick again, that her belly had been particularly sensitive at night.  But I let her anyway.   And then she vomited, which kind of put a damper on it for me since I was hoping for a nicer ending to the whole thing.... you know, something like: we laid there and she nursed while we talked about it being the last time and then she looked at me and lovingly said something like "mama, I love you so much".

But no.  Instead, vomit.  But I don't take it personally.

We've been talking about not having any more mama milk for a loooooong time.  Many months.  So the illness just sort of acted as the catalyst we needed.  There have of course been some tears in the wee hours when she wakes and remembers we're done with the milk and it's all I can do to gather the energy necessary to hush and dance and walk and sway with her.  To make up "pretend stories" for her or sing.  And I remind myself of how far we've come and that takes a little of the sting out of being up with an almost 3 year old at 2 or 3 or 4am dancing in the dark.  And I know that the day will come when I will miss these wee hour sessions with my girl.  Miss feeling so very needed and like I am the ultimate magical comfort.  So we work through those times and then talk about it later in the morning.  And she gets it.  "I cried a little", she'll say,  "but I'm better now".  I tell her how it's hard for mama, too.  And that when she is crying and asking me desperately for "ju-ust a li-ittle little bit mama, pleeeease" in that shaky voice, it is so hard for me to say no.  But that we are strong and we're doing it together.

On Sunday I let her pick out some balloons at the grocery store and I made her a cake to celebrate the milestone.  We called it her "goodbye milk" cake.  She wanted two candles on it.  When I asked why she told me that it was because I 'had two milks'.  Well, duh, mama.  It was carrot cake.  Carrot pie, if you ask her.  The same one we bake for her birthdays.  She sang the happy birthday song to 'milk', then a goodbye milk song that she made up that went along to the tune of happy birthday and ended with the line "it's o-okaaayyyyy mi-ilk, it's o-okay milk!"

Anyway~  this is big for us.  And here we are.  Moving on and opening new doors.  And it feels so good.  There were times that I was sure I'd be nursing this child until she left for college but, apparently, they were right.  One day, it just kind of happens.

*and now, several days later (11/17), she isn't even asking for it and she is sleeping so much better..... able to drift off to sleep in my arms as I tell a story, and fall back to sleep on her own sometimes.... makes me feel so good to know that I did not in fact ruin her ability to sleep on her own ;) 
what a big girl.

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