I am definitely a supporter of long term breastfeeding. In fact, I have become quite the "Crunchy Mama" as my mothering career has progressed! I never knew I had it in me, haha. I breastfed my twins until they were close to three years old, and Natalie nursed until she was 18 months old (had to quit unexpectedly due to a NASTY yeast infection and Jason's imminent birth---had to heal up to nurse the newborn!).
I have nursed through my last two pregnancies, and until recently, Jason was still happily nursing, albeit only at bedtime. In July, I started preparing him for The End. I would say, "Jay, you are such a big boy! Just think, next month you will be THREE YEARS OLD! Wow! You will be so big, you won't need to nurse anymore---so after your birthday, no more nursing!". I told him this every night, while he was having his bedtime nurse. I thought he was "getting it". He would nod and agree that he was too big to keep on nursing.
When his birthday rolled around in August, he was indignant at the mere suggestion that he couldn't continue to nurse! He acted shocked and totally unprepared for this transition......I was disappointed, and beginning to be a bit frustrated. (After awhile, you know, you just kind of want your body back SOMEWHAT---and of course Rachael will still be nursing for a long time). Being the crunchy mama that I have become, I gritted my teeth and followed the advice of the LaLeche League: "Don't offer, but don't refuse." We continued our nursing relationship.
Finally, about a week ago, Crunchy Mama had had ENOUGH! I told Jason one night that he had one week left, and then that was IT. No more nursing!! I held my ground, too, even though for three agonizing nights he threw unbelievable oscar-winning fits at bedtime---AND told me "Mommy, I am mad at you! I do not love you anymore! You told me 'no more nursing'!". It is NOT fun for your sweet, adorable, normally affectionate 3 year old to tell Mommy he does not love her! My heart was breaking!.....but after about 3 days he got over it, and resolved himself to this new level of maturity. (He even told me he loves me again, whew!).
Last night as I was putting Natalie and Jason to bed, he asked me to lie down and snuggle with him for a minute. I climbed into the bottom bunk with him, having just finished clearing up the dinner dishes and putting the food away.
Jason said, " Mmmmm, Mommy, you smell good!"
I said, "Do I smell like dinner?"
He immediately said, "No, your nurses smell YUMMY!!!! The mommy milk smells good!"
I was crying I laughed so hard!
(I won't even get into where the conversation ended after that---let's just say I heard a long rendition of ALL our friends and family members, and which ones are blessed enough to have a male body part, HA!).