Eight days ago you turned thirty seven months old.

The day after your birthday was your last day of Mama Milk. I gave you a few weeks notice, that once you were three years old, there would be no more Mama Milk. There would be Mama Snuggles and Cuddles and Nuzzles and Stories, but no more Milk.

I expected to say that the last time you had milk, that night after your birthday, I was sad that Milk was over, but I was relieved. Nursing you had become awful for me; I knew it was time to call it off. Three years (to the day!, I might add) is plenty of time to breastfeed a child. It wasn't as long as I'd expected, but it was longer than I'd hoped, and, really, there is no good or bad in the world of breastmilk.

Nursing you, at the end, was painful, bothersome, itchy, and uncomfortable. I said we would continue with Milk until one of us didn't want to anymore, and that's what happened. I didn't want to anymore.

I always thought you would be done first, that I could give and give and give and never have given it all, but in the end it was me who was done first. That is hugely disappointing, as a mother, to not be able to give your child what they need. You were not done with Mama Milk and I knew how hard it would be for you to let go, but I just couldn't go on.

All in all, you've handled it quite well, and have asked a handful of times since we stopped, but it always seems to be out of habit, or when you're out of sorts. For the most part, you seem to understand, too, that it was time.

I think in part, at least I hope, that it has something to do with the fact that I no longer avoid you. As a mama starts to wean her baby, she begins to avoid holding her too long, or sitting down with her in her lap, or laying down, or bathing together, or anything that would indicate she's available for Milk. And I had really started to avoid you. I hated saying no to Milk and you asked pretty often.

At the end, we were down to four feedings, all of them before or after sleep. And at the very end we were down to just two: when you woke up in the morning and before bed at night. To say you miss Mama Milk when you wake up would be an understatement.

I doubt anyone has studied what happens to a child's brain when they give up Milk, but I don't doubt it isn't like any other addiction or habit and that your brain is screaming at you to go get a hit. That is definitely how it seemed to me, that you were operating on instinct, mostly. And once I figured that out, it was much easier to watch you cry as I said no. I knew that once your brain had adjusted, you'd catch up and take snuggles instead of Milk.

I always wondered how our weaning story would go, and here it is, written. We wrote it, you and me, together.

Happy Thirty Seventh Monthday.