The other night, The Child said breastfeeding was for babies. No one has told her this — the closest thing I’ve ever said was when babies are first born all they can have is milk. The last time she tried to nurse, she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, latch on properly. Then, when we had a bath recently (I’m too
cheapskate frugal to not share bath or shower time), she pointed at my nipple and said, “This is for the baby.”
My goal when I started breastfeeding was to try to breastfeed — the WHO recommends a minimum of two years, and many others tend to aim for six months or so. Anything beyond that first half-year could be considered extended feeding. I did not expect to still be nursing The Child when she was approaching three years of age, but now that it seems to have more or less ended, I can’t help but feel a little… lost? Disappointed?
I guess the reason is her self-weaning has sort of marked the end of an era — she definitely isn’t my baby any more. My most effective parenting tool is now no longer available to me when she’s been hurt or is throwing a long tantrum. I almost feel like I should commemorate this milestone in some way, but that seems weirdly self-indulgent and far too hippy.