After nightweaning Small Z for the final time in January, the month of my utter fatigue, I thought that moving house and the associated weirdness of all that would account for the first chunk of February or so. I didn’t want to make any other big changes to Small Z’s soundtrack over that time.
However. For the past few weeks I have been trying to wean her from the boobaramas. Full stop. Of course, I have done some research, spoken to an ABA counsellor (they are G-O-L-D) and tried to do it as gently as possible. Small Z, as anyone who has read this blog for a while, was the ultimate booby-fixated baby. She is now two, and remains exactly the same. I had naive hope that she would wean herself. Nope. Nada. Never. Not. Going. To. Happen.
So it was fairly easy to cut out the feeds that were not sleep related. There weren’t many of them. But, for the past week or so I have been refusing to feed her for the midday nap, saying that the boobies needed to rest for her feed at nighttime. Ohhh. The yelling. The begging. The hours that my patience has elastically stretched over. Extraordinary.
M read somewhere that people have had success spiking their boobs with lemon juice. Mmmm. That worked the first time. After that, she got a taste for it. And then there was the day when I had washed the girls in bicarb as a preventative measure (click if you must), later added the lemon juice and in doing so created some kind of energetically fizzing chemical reaction that scared me so much that I did much plunging of my top half into a basin full of water, wishing that I had paid more attention in chemistry. I had to speak to my only chemically qualified contact in order to establish nothing was going to explode.
So then I tried garlic. Why would I bother trying garlic on someone whose favourite food is hardcore pesto? Call it blind hope. She lapped it up. Yesterday? I went for the most disgusting thing I could think of. I don’t mean just what I happened to have on hand. I mean the most disgusting liquid that I. Could. Think. Of. If you do any thai cooking, you’ll know right away. Fish sauce. How revolting is that? I applied it liberally to the girls while holding my breath. Ugh.
I think Small Z lives in a state of olfactory denial. She did not react ONE iota to the stench of fish sauce on the girls. She had one, then the other. No reaction. Nothing. How is this possible? She is very good with smells – she can pick lavender, rose, orange. If you walk into a fish shop that is stinky (something a good fish shop should never be) she shrieks and demands to be removed immediately.
L suggested that stuff that you put on for nailbiting, as did M. However, I have decided today that it is all at an end. After tonight, I will SHUT IT DOWN (I can hear my mother – who weaned us three at nine months – breathing her relief from miles away). I cannot go further than fish sauce. Before I had Small Z, I never imagined breastfeeding past six months. I made declarations like “I will never feed anything with teeth” and sneeringly said “I am never going to feed something that walks”. Is there anything more humbling than parenthood? In my case, it has taught me not to be such a judgemental fucker about something of which I have zero experience.
So yeah. Start spreading the news…they’re leaving today…they’ll no longer be a part of it…the boobs, the boobs…
And a big welcome to a whole new round of sleep deprivation and yelling. It WILL be worth it.