“Ummm.” Michelle looked at me with sheepish eyes.
“You know, Michelle, it’s really up to you.” I looked her in the eye. “Celia’s ready whenever you are.”
Michelle nodded. Celia has been partially weaned now – she only breastfeeds before going to bed, before naps, and when she’s upset or hurt. Although I’m thrilled that she’s not breastfeeding as much as before, I think it’ll be nuts if she’s still racing to the “boob” when a newborn is in the way.
We need to cut it off right now.
Thankfully, Michelle had the same sentiment, and we both agreed to work at it together. I immediately found out that “working at it together” really means that I’m now on child-duty at night, because those are the times where Celia is most prone to want to suckle for comfort.
Three times a night for the last two nights I’ve been slumping into Celia’s room when we hear her crying loudly. Every time, I’ve soothed her with calm words of love, patted her on the back, and told her she needs to lie down, it’s still bed time. Every time so far, she’s eventually done it, usually within a minute or so.
And every time Michelle is absolutely shocked. “That was it?! It’s so easy for you!” Last night, after the third time, Michelle said, “You didn’t even pick her up, did you?”
“Nope,” I said, as I crawled back under the covers.
I have no idea what’s going on in Michelle’s head, but I wonder if she’s thinking to herself, “The next kid, we’re doing this right away!” I wouldn’t blame her. It’s so much easier for a dad to wean a kid than a mom.
First off, and most importantly, we don’t have boobs. But I think almost as important is the fact that we tend to be more abrupt in general. They say that kids are ten times more likely to go to their mothers for comfort than their fathers. That totally makes sense to me.
I figure, if I don’t make a big deal out of it, and Celia seems okay, let’s get on with things. No need to give her lots of hugs and kisses.
Not that I don’t love hugs and kisses, but Michelle gives way more than I do, that’s for sure.
So, here I am, on baby duty at night. I have a feeling like it’s going to be this way from here on, actually. With a newborn that I can’t do much about, and a toddler that I can do much about, chances are that we’ll divvy up the marital tasks so that I get Celia duty and Michelle gets newborn duty.
That sounds fair to me. But Michelle had better prepare herself for my way of parenting. Celia’s going to be sleeping through the night in no time with my no-nonsense methods. I’ll tell Celia I love her, but then that’s it. No more monkeying around. Back to sleep.
Only time will tell what the different methods will bring. For now, I am the official “weaner,” and I’ve got her all through the night. As we used to say at the end of poker nights: “Weaner takes all.”