For the past couple of months, Storm has been steadily increasing his vocabulary. It is amazingly wondrous and fun to witness him learning labels for things. And for the most part, Storm is mostly using his words to direct our attention to objects, or simply to notify his environment that he has seen something (for example, he says ‘bloem’ (flower) every time we pass a plant when riding in the stroller). But with the addition of the word ‘milk’ to his vocabulary (except he says ‘blk’), the number of requests he performs with language has increased manifold. When we are reunited after my work day, he yells at me ‘BLK’ to let me know it’s time for him to nurse. And in the night, half-asleep, he also informs me in no uncertain terms that he would like to nurse now, thank you. ‘BLK, aaaahh’.
It’s wonderful that he is starting to communicate his needs now, and for the first time in his life, I feel like I’m nursing on demand – which is usually what is recommended for newborns. But at least for me, it was hard to determine what the signs were that Storm wanted to nurse when he was little. So I defaulted to just offering frequently, and he could then just not accept when he wasn’t interested. But now, there is no confusion. I know exactly when there is a demand for nursing. And is there ever a demand for nursing right now! Storm has been sick for about a week, and nursing seems to make him feel better. So at the moment, we’re doing a lot of it.
I didn’t have a strong opinion on breastfeeding past the first year when we began this journey. I still don’t, I guess. But it doesn’t feel right to wean yet, to say nothing of how I have no idea how we would get Storm back to sleep when he wakes at night, without milk. So here I am, breastfeeding a toddler (almost) every time he asks for it. And the strangest thing about it is how decidedly normal it feels.