Adventures In Attachment Parenting: Nurse My Moose by Allison Silver
I used to think it was quite strange when people nursed children past the age of one. I even remember telling people, “If they can ask for it then they are old enough to stop.” And this is honestly how I felt………before I became a mom. I had no idea how much the nursing relationship would define our relationship and become so much more then a source of nourishment.
I really never imagined that I would be nursing a two year old, but here I am! And you know what? It doesn’t seem weird or awkward. It seems completely natural. As she has grown our nursing relationship has changed. In the beginning it was her primary food source. I remember being so proud of myself when we went to our doctor appointments, when she was a baby, and she gained weight! “Hot Damn,” I would think to myself! “I did that! That is all me!” But these days our nursing relationship is no longer focused on nourishment, even though that is an added benefit especially when dealing with a picky eater! It’s more about keeping a connection with me. She is growing and becoming independent more and more each day but she still is only two! In the grand scheme of things she is still very young and nursing is a way for her to check in with me. It’s almost like she’s saying, “I still need you mommy.”
She is old enough now that I feel comfortable putting some limits on the nursing. For instance, when we go to our weekly music class she typically wants to nurse during our class and I can tell her, “Nursing is after music.” This is not always successful but most of the time it is. And just recently we started to night wean. For the past couple of weeks I have been nursing her to sleep like I always do and then during the night when she wakes up and asks for nursing I gently tell her, “Boobs are sleeping.” I seriously did not think this would work ……..but it has! Most nights she will roll over and go back to sleep and then in the morning I nurse her. I do think the night weaning has helped us all get a bit more sleep but this could all go out the window when she starts cutting her molars!
Since her birthday she has been asking me to nurse her toys or other random objects. She even pretends to nurse her toys and the other day she was pretending to nurse a piece of mandarin orange and was telling me how cute it was! This kid has a great imagination. The best was when we were at my parents house and she was playing with a toy moose. She brought the moose over to me and said, “Nurse my moose.” The way she said it made me crack up! Nurse your moose! How could I not?
I once read in a La Leche League book about a mom who drew the line with nursing her son’s toys when he brought over a toy figurine of Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates Of The Caribbean. No matter how she approached it she just couldn’t get comfortable with nursing this toy figurine especially when she would look down and see Johnny Depp looking back at her! I laugh a little bit every time I think of that story. Who could blame her! However, I think I know a few ladies who might enjoy that. I mean who doesn’t have a thing for Johnny Depp? But I will stick with the moose!
So for now the nursing continues and as she grows it will continue to decline and there will be days when she wants to nurse more followed by ones when she won’t want to nurse all day. And before you know it one day we will wake up and she won’t ask for it anymore and she will be done! And then what will I do? Maybe that’s when I will feel its time for another baby!