It was the most blissful moment. I was lying on my side, feeding Peanut. She had just been bathed, and was smelling of baby soap and powder. I gazed at her lovingly and stroked her soft cheek, thinking this is the best part of motherhood. She raised her own little hand up towards my face, still guzzling away.
And then she brought her hand down on my face to give me a resounding slap.
It was what we marketeers like to refer to as a 'moment of truth'. I was rather shocked, but suddenly saw things with clarity - while she continued to feed, rather unfazed.
It is time to start weaning her.
No, not because of the danger of being slapped again - it's just that at that moment I realized that it's not particularly great for her to be fed by me so much - she's well over that age now. And in fact, she needs to put on weight and eat more of her solid food.
I figured I'd try to at least stop coming home at lunchtime to feed her - that would cut out at least one day time feed. In any case, while it was a pleasure to come home at lunch, it was too much of a mad rush to try and get back, feed her, have my own lunch and head back - besides, she seems to be well settled during the day at my Bua's house. So for the last two days, I've not come home during the afternoons, and she seems to be okay with it, although she apparently gets a bit restless and then pro-actively asks for 'Du-du' - the K obligingly gives her a glass or two. I try to make up for the lunchtime absence by coming back home slightly earlier in the evening. I think it may actually work out better - and I may get more time with her, overall.
The issue is with the holidays - yesterday, Sunday, she refused to eat anything and just kept on trying to lift up my shirt, which is a little embarassing, especially when she does it with company around. In general, she seems to have entered a very clingy phase, and is quite difficult when I'm around - she refuses to go to anyone else for even a minute, and is constantly going 'Mamamamamama....' - this is usually very cute, but not so much when you need to go to the bathroom.
The biggest challenge will be figuring out how to wean her from the night feed - I have been ignoring all the good advice thrown at me from various sources, and have been letting her fall asleep at the breast for the last couple of months. It was just so easy to give in to the temptation of an easy means to get her to drift off, rather than rocking her back and forth for hours, as we had to do previously. She is now extremely difficult (read: impossible) to get to sleep at nights without me and my assets. Oh, we are so going to suffer.
Do you guys have any advice on how to wean a child, one who is almost fifteen months old and extremely finicky about her favourite food? Anyone with anything to share? Anyone? Anyone except Ganju?
Although even Ganju could do better than my mother, because when I asked her yesterday for her advice on weaning, she sagely replied:
'Stop feeding her'
Oh yeah. Thanks, Mom. Could never have figured that one out by myself. It's like asking an enigmatic oracle for some advice and receiving a wise, esoteric reply which is near-impossible to figure out and interpret - only it's the exact opposite. Does that make any sense to you? I thought not. Forget it.
Either way, my family rocks.
P.S - Peanut now also tends to bite to signal to me that she has finished her feed. She appears extremely attached to this mode of communication, despite my protests. Therefore, there are four more reasons to stop feeding her sooner rather than later - two upper teeth and two lower ones. These teeth also regularly dig in nowadays right into the flesh of my thighs -ah, the unmitigated joy of motherhood.