I Want to be a Tiny Baby
This post is in honor of World Breastfeeding Week and part of Mothering’s “Blog about Breastfeeding” event.
Arlo self-weaned a couple of months ago and whenever he sees my breasts now he grins and squeaks, “Yesterday when I was a tiny baby I used to drink your milks!” Sometimes he’ll go the extra mile and point at my nipples and squeal, “They’re so cuuuute!”. As sweet as it is I redirect the conversation quickly lest he draw the conclusion:
“Hey! I want to be a tiny baby again. I want some milk!”
This very thing happened over the weekend after he crawled into bed with us. I cursed myself for not wearing a shirt to sleep and again for not keeping one at the foot of the bed but you know . . . FARRAH. I dread when Arlo connects the dots because 1) milk is off the menu and 2) he’s perfected the tantric art of tantrums – they last forever. I skip right past the “But you’re a big boy!” and the even more useless “You can eat whatever you want!” and go straight to “Hey! Why did that digger have a scoop and a blade? That digger we saw yesterday? Why?” This will trigger the other pleasure center of his brain and we can move forward.
Despite this rare instance, Arlo decided to be done with nursing on his terms (after-nap was the last to go) and timeline (at 3 1/2 years old). It never occurred to me to wean him; I felt it was his to give up, not mine to take away. It was a beautiful relationship and fulfilled me in a way nothing ever had before. And it ran its course.
As months became years I employed the “don’t offer/don’t refuse” tactic when it came to Arlo’s extended breastfeeding and technically I still don’t refuse; I distract. I would bribe. I would cry. I would fake an injury, lock myself in the bathroom, crawl out the window on to the garage roof, lower myself down the gutter and run into the woods – texting Kris once my hiding place was secure. I would do whatever I had to not to nurse Arlo at this point. Something has shifted and I suppose that something is Farrah Star. I can’t use her (None for you! I’m saving it all for Farrah! Mwah ha ha! Can you imagine?), so I just have to keep my shirt on. He doesn’t bat an eye if Farrah is feeding; only when my breasts are bare and available. And jeez those cute little nipples! I just need to keep my breasts covered and he’ll forget all about milk. It’s like how Catholic school uniforms never make you think of sex.
Speaking of school, after reading this I wonder if Arlo will bring me as his date to his Oscars and/or Nobel Prize Ceremony:
Young children who were breastfed as infants scored higher on intelligence tests than formula-fed kids, and the longer and more exclusively they were breastfed, the greater the difference, say Harvard University researchers.
He’d better. I promise to wear strapless.