You read that right, but no, RJ is not talking in complete sentences at almost 14 months. Lately, we’ve been having all sorts of conversations though, when he nurses during the night. He’s teething now, molars are the next to cut. Ouch! So spending time cuddling, feeding, and soothing him are all par for the course.
A while back, I wrote about why night nursing was still right for us despite a suggestion from our pediatrician, at 9 months, that we could start weaning. Though now at 14, RJ’s food sources are becoming about 50/50, so he’s naturally weaning himself. I’m not nursing nearly as often during the day as I was then, but he’s still getting a good helping of breast milk throughout the night.
So clearly, night nursing is still working for us, here. But what’s actually quite amazing, just over the last 3 days or so, he’s gone nearly a full day without nursing, except to go down for his nap. What could possibly make a boy of his stature completely ditch the boob during most of his waking hours???
This little lady folks…
The man surprised our son…and me, with a puppy for the little guy. She’s a 9 week old firecracker. He loves her, and so does RJ.
Yes, this means our hands are extra full, but it’s a beautiful thing to watch our son interact with her. They are basically he same age, going through the same things, having a level of conversation that we as adults may never understand again.
But to get back to our conversations, those are pretty amazing, too. After a long day, for both of us, I’m sure (He’s a busy little boy, always on the move and always curious about something), the act of nursing him is a distinct relief from the busyness of the day. It offers a peaceful place of near solitude for my brain, where I am mindfully alert and open. This, contrasted by the sound slumber of my son in my arms. His wild and enthusiastic antics during the day complemented by these sweet and tender moments where both of our worlds and worries dissolve away.
Also, after seeing him run around all day, having these moments of quiet helps to bring me down 3 notches.
The deepest of these conversations don’t happen every night. Some nights he pushes my hands away or nurses so quickly just to roll over and sleep independently again. Other nights we just fall asleep together like this as I let my body take the wheel.
But, when the conversations happen, they are mind altering, and leave me with a sense of understanding about our lives, our family, and my role as his mother. From his tiny hands grabbing my fingers and holding them close, to feeling his little fingers reach up to touch my lips or nose. Or when he rolls away to find his own little pocket of the bed, but first takes a pit stop to lay across my chest or belly, where I imagine he is listening to the faintly familiar sounds of being inside this body. They are little motions with a big impact. Often, babies are misinterpreted as not being capable of expressing such deep emotion or intention, but these moments are immediate proof that its just not true. There’s a great series on Netflix that digs into the brain science of babies if you’re interested in uncovering more on the topic – The Beginning of Life: The Series.
Those nights leave me ready to conquer the walls I find blocking me in life, because I’m reassured of all that I do by this now tiny, but quickly-growing human. He’s helped me to realize what life is truly about. And yeah, I know this all sounds like mystical bullshit to the non-believers…
But how true it is when you open your mind and body in this way as a mother.
There have been times in this past year that I have felt completely lost about what I was doing outside of being a mom. This blog has certainly helped keep me sharp, but because I wasn’t working like I had been since 17, life suddenly felt incomplete. I was at a point where I felt disillusioned by my work though, and ready to figure out what was next. Doing that while pregnant meant I couldn’t just yet. But, mother hood, one of life’s greatest transitions can absolutely light a fire under your butt and also make you assess some important things, you know, happiness, the meaning of life.
He makes me realize that just as he is learning: to walk, to run, to communicate, and be an independent little spirit, I too am learning still, and I’m convinced that as a parent, I’ll never stop learning. I’ll always be learning through the eyes of my child.
So having a conversation with him that completely cements the validity of my role in his life, is truly worth the constant need to step away from my work, put everything down, and just listen to my son.