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On Weaning A Child Who Is Old Enough To Have Hair This Long

IT SUCKS.  Period.  He nurses like his life depends on it.  AND MY POOR NIPPLES HAVE HAD ENOUGH.  Seriously.

There is an array of life issues that arise through advanced/prolonged boob dependence, those are as follows:

Naps: without the boob, naps are facilitated only by 1) a car ride – which is impossible when you no longer own a car, 2) watching a show on the iPad – which has mixed results, or 3) a stroller ride – which doesn’t work when it’s raining – and it’s raining.

Public Opinion: LET ME BE CLEAR – I AM A HUGE PROPONENT OF BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.  However, when you have a large toddler and are in a culture that is a bit baffled by the idea of it in the first place, it gets old, fast.  Come on buddy, can’t we AT LEAST keep these things private now that you’re old enough to ask for it, outright?

Mom’s Breasts: I’m honestly not one to care (or so I thought), but really guys, 4 years of collective breastfeeding renders them at least 4 decades less youthful than they would otherwise be.

And when you have an insufferably stubborn toddler, weaning feels like a lost cause.  We’ve come a long way but some days I’m fairly certain he’ll still be nursing when he’s 12, before and after school.

Sick Kids in China Equals Very Itchy Travel Feet

One would think that nightly coughing fits that have your palms sweaty they’re so scary, would make you want to nest and hunker down for the long winter.  As it turns out, this is NOT the case when said coughing fits are experienced while looking out one’s window at very hazy, polluted skies.  All I see are chronic lung problems and dead bronchial cilia.  Both children have had run-in’s with icky respiratory viruses over the last few weeks (croup and the like), but the smaller one, who came to China with a cough, continues the bronchial battle with a cough that resembles something like whooping cough (though I’m 99% sure it’s not).  Each night, he has a cough attack and I assure myself that should it continue, to the hospital we’ll go.  And then I’m reminded of what that will mean.  Surely either steroids or antibiotics, neither of which may totally address the problem and both of which could contribute to chronic problems.  And then I look outside and I’m like, crap, but how are his lungs ever going to heal?  To which my oh-so-rational [irrational] mind starts dreaming up grand places where the air is fresh and the water is clean/at least not full of all sorts of heavy metals.

My 3am, kid-cough inspired travel aspirations, began with rational trips like Hainan (the Hawaii of China) and the beaches of southern Thailand and then morphed into grand visions of climbing Mount Everest (or at least a clean, lush, green hill somewhere far, far away).

And so, I would like to share with you, MY current travel DREAMS:

1)  Taking the Lhasa Express from Chendu, China to Lhasa, Tibet.  AND THEN, traveling from Tibet to Nepal on the Friendship Highway.

2) Trekking around the Yunnan Plateau and somehow crossing over into Burma by land (which is quite difficult).

3)  The Trans-Siberian Railway, from Beijing, China to somewhere in Germany (a not so new dream).

All three are slightly daunting journey’s that would require meticulous planning for adult travelers, now throw a couple of young grommits into the mix and meticulous will turn into leave-no-stone-unturned planning.  Challenging, but possible.  Just like any travel with children; 30% more difficult, but also 30% more rewarding.

Here’s to making these dreams a reality over the next few years, cheers!