Okay, deep breath—only one more week until I have to say Leo is one year old. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I’ve been saying he’s “almost one” for over a month now. He has not fallen asleep in my arms with me or sat on my lap for months now. He has a mouthful of teeth, a toddler boy’s haircut, pudgy fingers, tree trunk legs. His poop smells like real people’s poop. He is not the newborn I brought home from the hospital and snuggled with in bed for the entirety of Kevin’s paternity leave while the cold winter outside made us all the more cozy inside.
But I feel like I still have a connection with all that as long as we’re under the one year mark—like we’re standing under a rose-colored umbrella, and in one week we have to step out into the rain.
I know that’s not true as I write it. I have two older boys who amaze and delight me with each new phase they go through, and I always love whoever they are at the current time. But these phases also come with their less glorious moments. There will be temper tantrums, sass, stubbornness and whining along with all the wonder, hilarity, depth and character bred by the years of childhood.
Leo will not always be this baby who thinks I, his mother, am God. When I project that out into the teen and young adult years I realize this is a good thing because I would like to have grandchildren someday, and I would not like to bear them myself…but I have just really loved being my baby’s world.
There’s this other thing, though, that also freaks me not: the thought of not nursing anymore. Five or six times a day I nurse Leo, and that is the time I get to hold and cuddle him, to have a quiet moment in the nursery with my real-life baby doll. He plays with my or his hair, he rests a hand on my arm, he pats me, he curls his body around my stomach. I get a huge rush of love for him and for everything in my life each time he nurses. Once my babies hit a year I start weaning, so Leo’s first birthday marks the beginning of the end of one of my favorite parts of motherhood.
Not to mention–when I am a nursing mom I love my body. I have big boobs! I can wear skinny jeans! I can eat anything I want! Exercise? Pffft, only if I want to! Once I stop nursing, though, I gain five pounds and begin feeling guilty about everything I eat. I start exercising because I feel I have to, not because I want to, and even then I still won’t lose those five pounds. I will have lost a pound or so from my chest area, but that’s the one pound I wish I could get back. Kevin tells me it’s not the size of my boobs that matters—it’s that I have boobs. I love him.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a recovered anorexic or because I’m female, but I judge my body by an impossible scale on a daily—sometimes on an hourly—basis, and I always come up short. Except when I’m nursing. Then I just don’t even think about my body much, and it is such a refreshing way to live.
Wait, how did this sentimental post about my baby’s first birthday turn into a freak out post about small boobs and big legs? Is this just the hormones talking? Can I still blame the hormones after Leo turns one?
And most importantly, does anyone have the need for a wet nurse out there?