He pushes my arm away as i try to stroke his hair that has become coarser in just a few short months.
"Are you done?"
He shakes his head emphatically "no" expertly keeping his latch. His blue eyes don't leave mine & i'm feeling a kink start in my neck keeping my head cocked to the side to keep my eyes locked on those precious, thickly lashed baby eyes.
His head has a huge bruise across it from when he fell & banged into our bed the other day while running around like a crazy man. He's such a little mover & shaker.
"Do you want the other side?"
i'm fairly certain that i've been emptied on this side, but again, he shakes his head & mumbles "MhmMhm"
It's not milk he's looking for, it's comfort.
He hardly ever nurses to sleep anymore, but i sense his body relaxing across mine. He keeps kicking, kicking, kicking & shoving his grubby little fingers all over my face, forcing their way through my lips, pulling hair, my necklace, my chin... trying to stave off sleep with activity.
Suddenly he laughs. Carefully keeping his latch - a tired muffled giggle escapes & i can't help but mirror it.
There is tumult outside my door - there is peace within, holding this boy in my arms preparing for sleep.
Somewhere in the back of my mind i hear the voices i've heard, "When they can ask for it, that's when i draw the line..." & i picture my son just a few minutes prior to this cozy scene, crying & pulling on the front of my shirt... "When they have more than a few teeth, that's when i draw the line," my little guy has a whole mouthful of teeth that most of the time he remembers to keep to himself. " Once they can drink from a cup, what do they need it for?" He has been expertly drinking from a cup for weeks now - & yet...
We're not done yet.
Where did that needy, toothless uncoordinated partner go who started this nursing journey with me? Tiny rooting mouth seeking, seeking, finding, losing, crying, trying again - ... relief... success...
The solid toddler in my arms has replaced that tiny baby - confidently latching on & settling in to the comfort that he knows will follow.
i don't know when this little partnership will end, but i know it's not over yet - & for some reason, i know that this is a comfort to us both.