About two weeks ago, Ely was sick and wanted ‘num’ (her code name for nursing) every.second.of.the.day. While I was glad to be able to provide nourishment and comfort while she was sick, by the end of it, I was ready for her to get.off.me! I love her dearly, as you know, but I needed space. I went out with friends one night and came back a new woman.
A week later, she had a REALLY bad night. Once I made sure she wasn’t sick or teething, instead of feeling the normal compassion, I was just frustrated and again feeling like I needed SPACE! I thought about it for a day or so and made a big decision… it was time for night weaning.
Ely is 18 ½ months old and we are on night four of night weaning. Some nights are better than others, but she understands when I tell her that “I don’t want to do num right now” and offer her ‘juice’, which is really water. (You’ll keep my secret, right?)
Sometimes she cries and I hold her and reassure her. I tell her that growing up IS very hard, but mommy needs to sleep, too. Sometimes, she rolls over and goes back to sleep.
I’m glad to be doing this at an age when she understands what I’m saying to her. I’m glad that I waited until now because I’m so very confident that she knows I love her beyond words. I’m also glad that I was able to wait until it felt right for me, not because someone else was pushing me to do it. All those things together make me really confident in the decision.
Of course, I’m getting less sleep than when I just nursed her at night and if this continues for much longer, I totally reserve the right to change my mind… That said, let me tell you a funny, if gross, little ditty from night 2.
We were spending some “awake time” together around 3am, much to my dismay. She was reaching her hands out and playing with them. I thought she wanted to hold my hand, as she often does. So, I relished the moment and played with her little fingers…and she SCREAMED!
I’m not talking about a little cry. It was heads and shoulders above her, ‘I’m upset. I want ‘num’’ cry. This was an all out scream. I tucked her under my arm and rocked her. It continued and I was confused... until I felt it…
She had apparently been picking her nose and had a ‘treasure’ on her hand. When I lovingly played with her fingers, I’d unknowingly removed the treasure. The blood curdling screams were all because…she wanted her booger back! She hadn’t been reaching for me. She was playing with it- and I’d stolen it!
Oh, the joys of motherhood!
The happy ending: I did not give it back and she went back to sleep without ‘num’- that time.