Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I was reading T. Berry Brazelton the other day -- the six-seven month "touchpoint", I think -- and he talks about mothers who resist introducing solid food because eating something other than breastmilk reduces their baby's dependence on them, and honestly, that just strikes me as sort of psychotic. I mean, sure, when Ben starts kindergarten or gets his driver's license, I am positive I will shed a tear for the baby who was. Even when we wean, whenever that happens, I'm sure it will make me sad no longer to share that very sweet and intimate thing with him. But I'm sure as hell not going to resist weaning when it's otherwise timely because I'm enjoying his dependence on me too much.

There's a lot I enjoy very much about motherhood, but having a tiny, precious someone wholly physically dependent on me isn't among my favorite aspects. I love nursing him because it's essentially a squirmless, fuss-free cuddle, and who could not love that? And I wouldn't consider weaning yet because I know breastfeeding continues to be the best thing for him nutritionally. But it will be nice to be able to leave him with his father for a whole day without the bother of pumps and bottles. I love holding him and squeezing him and kissing his delicious fat cheeks, but I look forward to his being able to move himself across the room.

I celebrate all his small movements towards independence because I'm proud of him and I'm fascinated by the process, but also because every one brings me closer to independence, too. Today he sat in the crook of his Boppy and smacked at cloth blocks and plastic cups and righted himself when he listed too far to starboard, and it was a huge pleasure to watch him entertain and sustain himself.

And it was a huge pleasure to sit within arm's reach but not touching, and read a book.

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