Apparently, I weaned my baby last night. It wasn't really the plan, but he made his lack of interest in breastfeeding so glaringly clear that I had to pay attention. I think it was the screeching and the twisting away repeatedly that made me stop and focus. Because I am nothing if not observant.
What was it driving me to attempt to force-nurse this kid? (I didn't, quit freaking out.) He was clearly not into it at all and yet there I was trying to switch sides over and over, cooing at my poor baby in an attempt to get him to latch on for more than 5 seconds before origami-ing himself away again. After about 15 minutes of squealing like a tortured piglet and impossible back bends, I picked that baby up and asked him if he was done. "Are you finished here? Are you moving on now? Are you actually, VOLUNTARILY giving me my body back? All done, Baby?" And he grinned the biggest grin... and then catapulted himself into a pile of duvet. I took that as a yes.
So, I'm free I guess. It's weird. Part of the weirdness stems from Last Baby Syndrome and the end of an era and blah, blah, blah. But part of it also comes from my EXTENSIVE collection of mommy guilt. (Seriously, I could center an entire blog around it. Oh, wait....) I was planning to nurse him until 14 months just like his big brother for the sake of equality. You know, so I wouldn't have to hear all that, "MOM. You know this is all your fault because you stopped breastfeeding me too early. My brother doesn't have these problems. POINT MADE." Those arguments totally happen. And I was feeling all bummed and guilty that I hadn't made it to that magical benchmark... until my husband reminded me that the babe is just two weeks away from 14 months. So that counts, right? Equality maintained(ish).
Apart from being weird, it's also totally and completely and endlessly awesome, because I'M FREEEEEE!!!!! Well, I'm free-ish. My body at least belongs to me now (although there will be kids hanging off of it for quite some time yet). I can consume tequila and cold medicine and sketchy untested vitamin supplements with wild abandon. I can tattoo myself from head to toe and use countless poisonous skin and hair products. I could, in theory, leave for an entire week and the kids would be fine. For the first time in four years (!!!), my offspring are no longer dependent on my body for sustenance, and that feels awesome.
Hurry, someone pass me some sketchy untested supplements and let's go get neck tattoos!