I outed myself as an “extended breastfeeder” a few weeks back with my post about working & nursing an older child.
Yet when a sweet, goofy nursing moment happened the other night, I immediately wanted to write it down somewhere… just not on my blog. Maybe I hesitated simply because it was an intimate moment. But I think the reality is that sharing such a moment would feel a bit embarrassing.
How is it possible that I could feel embarrassed when I was just blathering about nursing my three-year-old a few weeks ago?!
I think I felt embarrassed (I almost didn’t even tell my husband) because the incident involved talking & giggling with my son about our nursing relationship. Nursing is just not something children should ask for, let alone joke about! At least that’s how I perceive the culture-at-large’s reaction to extended nursing.
But then I read Blue Milk’s post over at Feministe. She talks about her son talking, not about breastfeeding, but to her breasts. It’s a sweet & moving post. And she addresses head-on the popular notion that children should be weaned before they can “ask for it.” (And she says some really smart things about breastfeeding & women’s bodies in general, as usual.)
So now I feel empowered to share my funny boy-nursling story. In the spirit of Blue Milk’s post & in an effort to continue normalizing what is already so normal for many, many families, here it is (& now that I’m writing it it seems not as funny… but so be it…):
T is into counting everything these days. The other night before bed he started counting body parts, my body parts. “You have 1 head, 2 eyes, (1-2-3-4-) 5 fingers, (1-2-3-4-) 5 fingers (other hand), (1-) 2 arms, 2 bottles of mama milk, 2 ears, 1 head…”
He didn’t miss a beat after patting my breasts & counting them! Just another part of mama (though often his favorite part & sometimes seemingly the only part he’ll recognize).