Photo by Robert Mac
It was a beautiful day today. I wore the sleeveless dress my husband bought after he saw me admiring it in a Park Slope shop-window. That was ages ago. When he bought the dress for me, I mean. We don’t even live in Brooklyn anymore; we live in Spain. And whereas in our Brooklyn days my breasts looked pretty darn good in said dress, now that I’m a nursing mom they look pretty darned spectacular.
My 16-month -- wait, what’s the date? -- make that, my nearly 17-month-old son agrees. In fact, he became so overwhelmed with enthusiasm for my cleavage that he tore the dress from my body in an attempt to satiate his need to feed from it in full view of, well, everyone.
Sadly, it wasn’t the first time I’d been disrobed amongst the populace, and it certainly won’t be the last.
My name is K. Emily Bond and I’m nursing an addict.
Standing in public wearing a high-waisted skirt that was once a dress is enough to make any mother reevaluate her breastfeeding relationship with her toddler. For me it was just another day in the nursing life.
It was with the best of intentions that we swept past the 12-month mark with the goal of making it to 18. Months, that is. But the way things are going, I don’t think we’re going to be able to stop there. Will we go to 24? Three years? Beyond? I used to poke fun at mothers who nursed their kids until kindergarten until I realized that -- gulp -- I could end up being one of them.
I’m the sort of mother that’s always defaulted to the Dr. Sears library for parenting advice. It’s worked really well for us so far. I tried for a natural delivery -- ended up with a c-section -- and have done everything under the sun to become wholeheartedly attached to my son.
When it comes to breastfeeding, I am letting him lead the way with the understanding that weaning is, as Dr. Sears says, “a journey from one relationship to another.” Doing it prematurely, Sears warns, could result in “anger, aggression, habitual tantrum-like behavior, anxious attachment ... and an inability to form deep and intimate relationships.” Yikes, I don’t want any of that.
What I do want? My boobs back. For my husband to be able to touch them without thoughts of my son entering my mind. For my son to stop pounding my chest demanding more, more, more! milk. For Ezra to form a healthy detachment from my ta tas.
I suppose that means the time has come for me to consider weaning my little addict. It is with mixed emotion that I do so. He loves to nurse -- he loves it! When I walk in the door at the end of the day he runs up to me, arms akimbo begging for it. In the middle of the night, he reaches his arms out in the dark trying to grasp it. To deny him is just, well, step one of the process. Steps two through twelve will involve lots of cuddling, hugs, kisses, and limits – for both of us.
Truth be told, I’m a bit of an addict myself.