|Cuddling with Mama's belly|
He's a big kid- he plays with his friend who's a year older than him, and they look about the same size. He's in 3T shirts, and his 2T pants don't quite cover his diaper. His 32 lbs matches what some kids twice his age weigh.
Elliott is about to be a big brother. Sometime between any-day-now and 5 weeks from now, he's got a wake-up call coming he's probably not ready for. He's not going to be excited to share his Mommy.
You see, Elliott's still nursing.
Not every day, but most days. Sometimes only once a day, sometimes three times. Sometimes when he's very upset, or hasn't seen me all day, or just woken up, or is ready for bed. He's a great eater, so it's not for nutrition that he's nursing. He still needs the comfort, the closeness.
As I watch him trot off to Sunday School or the babysitter or to various family members' houses, I know I'm not stunting his growth or 'keeping him a baby'. He's as confident as any two-year-old, and has never dealt with separation anxiety or a fear of new people (except for Santa). I suspect our relationship is stronger thanks to extended nursing, and he trusts we'll always come back for him, so has no fear in new situations.
He's not ready to give up on nursing, though.
I hate apologizing for this. Our culture dictates that babies wean when they get teeth, or hit their first birthday, or 'can ask for it' (as if newborn cries and grunts aren't 'asking for it'). These are all culturally-constructed milestones supported by effective marketing of formula and baby foods, but not at all in line with actual biological, developmental or medical markers.
I'm thankful that I have friends who have nursed their toddlers longer than I have and who I can learn from, including friends who have been in the same situation of having a baby and a toddler sharing Mommy's Milk. I'm glad there's an online community that I can read about, too, to know that I'm not a weirdo. Even celebrities nurse their toddlers- and this goes a long way to normalizing it in the rest of the culture.