Petra told me several times this morning that she was such a big girl now, almost as big as Mama and Daddy, that she didn’t need a booby anymore.

No more booby is an easy statement to make in the nice warm light of morning, but more difficult to stick with when it’s time for an after bath snuggle and snack, so I wasn’t sure if she would still be over breastfeeding at bedtime. But she announced as she was getting into her pj’s that she wasn’t having a booby and she didn’t. Instead she cuddled up on my lap for a few minutes before going off to bed.

Maybe she really is done this time.

Petra has a very characteristic way of dealing with transitions and making changes, which I think began even before she was born. She was very slow to drop – weeks later than most babies – then one night in the 37th week she just turned and went head down. She was also in no rush to be born. I’d been quietly in labour for a week without much of anything happening. And that pause before acting has carried through into her babyhood and toddlerdom. She says no, waits, obviously does some thinking and processing and decision-making, then says yes and acts decisively. I can see it in things small, like saying no to her cousin’s request for a toy, then coming back a few minutes later to hand it over, and large, like deciding to wean in her own good time thank you very much.

Weaning is a big transition for me as well. Will my boobs cope I wonder. Will they quietly dry up, or will I be sore and inclined to infection and blocked ducts? What do I need to do to manage the process? And will I be sad if last night was our last breastfeed? Yes, is the answer. I’m ready to stop breastfeeding, ready to have my breasts to myself and to not be vaguely sore and chewed on all the time. But I’ll still be sad about stopping because it’s been such a huge part of my life with Petra for three years.

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