We were reunited on Sunday afternoon, when they leaped out of a cab into my waiting arms, in front of our building. I was shocked to see it, but the Kiddo was already older-seeming, with more words at his disposal after only three nights away! We hugged so tightly, there on the sidewalk. It was the sweetest reunion ever.
When they left, the Kiddo was still a zealous breastfeeder (at 25 months and counting) and I have been in no hurry to wean him. This was perhaps the largest hurdle that we expected to face upon parting for so long: would he come unglued without the boobies? Would Taro be able to provide alternative soothing mechanisms for those times when it seems like only the boobies would do? What about nighttime? I have never so much as pumped my breastmilk a single time since the Kiddo was born, so he has never had a bottle or a plastic nipple (he drinks liberally from regular cups and glasses, though, I might add), and well, forget about pacifiers.
In preparation for the trip, and on the advice of Taro's mother, I bought a bottle. Riki had suggested that for those times when the Kiddo was really missing the breast the artificial nipple might serve as a better substitute than, say, a sippy cup. Right before the guys left on Thursday, I presented the apple-juice-filled bottle to the Kiddo for the first time. He took it from me, gave it a quizzical look, took a few swigs, and in an astonished voice announced,
He loved it. Apparently, between the tiny mammo and the occasional bedtime-stroll-in-the-Maclaren-around-the-hotel, my breasts were not missed.
I had been hearing about this state of affairs all weekend, so I was extremely curious to see what would transpire upon the Kiddo's return home. Would he be weaned? I was determined not to bring it up, but planned to wait until nursing was explicitly requested by the Kiddo.
Turns out, I only had to be in suspense for about ten minutes. That's how long it took for the Kiddo to get the initial welcome-home hugging out of his system before he looked up at me with a sly smile and said,
At which point I happily sat down and nursed my boy, secretly pleased and relieved not to have given up that beautiful bond quite so soon.