Jill: You should write about nursing a toddler.
Jill: Nursing a toddler.
Me: Nursing a what?
Jill: A toddler!
Me: Oh god. Is that what this is?
Then I had the realization that we've been back less than 48 hours and at least 5 times I've been asked, "Are you still nursing?" And this does not include Mama Youyou's "Etes-vous allaite encore?!" Definitely punctuated with a question mark and exclamation point. Whatever happened to the standard, "How was your summer?"
(Let me clarify, friends of mine, I was never offended by this question. I sorted it in the same benign question category as "How was your summer?" In fact, it's quite nice when your friends are so intimately involved in your life they can casually ask this question. And this proves my complete obliviousness to the "issue" of nursing.)
So at what point do we cross from "Are you nursing?" to "Are you still nursing?"
I think there's a secret that many of us moms who don't nurse as a political statement keep, and that's that nursing can be incredibly convenient. And I'm pretty lazy.
For example, when you fly back to Congo from the States with a one year-old and a two year-old they introduce you to a new kind of jet lag. It's more than losing time zones. It's losing days upon days of sleep.
|Exhibit B: Toddler (LouLou) on a transatlantic flight.|
There was more than one occasion during which Adam and I looked around the plane at all the happily sleeping people and wanted to plop either of our very awake children in their laps. (These also happen to be the same people who complain about how tired they are the minute they get off the plane. You slept the whole time! I watched you!)
Turns out it's physically impossible for two babies in the same family to fall asleep at the same time while on a plane. And they continue on the same tag team one-always-being-awake-sleep-pattern for a few days after the flight.
So then, -and here's my point about the convenience of nursing- when you want to catch up with friends and avoid a screaming baby (okay, okay, toddler) you nurse and nurse and nurse until she has no choice but to be quiet while you chit chat. And then you nurse again when she's wide awake all night so you can sleep. And again when you need a break in the middle of the day because you haven't slept more than a few hours in a row.
So yes, I'm still nursing. But not as a statement. It's a matter of what's working right now. I also figure Annaïs will let me know when she's ready to stop. Hopefully she won't actually use words to tell me. Or, more realistically, Mama Youyou will tell me when she's ready to stop.