The Munch turned 3!
This concept seems magical to her. How she was this one number… that number being 2, and then after the second of July she is another number… the number 3. She has been transformed from 2 to 3 like a numerical caterpillar, and The Munch is delighted by it.
I remember the feeling of being absurdly excited about my birthday when I was a kid. Beyond the presents, attention, and cake, the thought of aging was fascinating. There was something thrilling about the next year -as if 8 would be drastically different than 7. I was getting closer to something with each year I got older. What that something was exactly wasn’t clear, but the looming vision of growth compelled me. Inching towards adulthood and becoming a person I didn’t know yet, but knew I was one day going to be. I would try to picture myself as a grown up. I would wonder how big my boobs would be or what job I would have, and that unknown vision of endless possibilities inspired me.
Now that I am an adult, and pretty much know myself, birthday’s blow. Yup, now I am 33. Pretty much the same as 32, but with a new pair of Birkenstocks to break in. The mystery of what will be is over. And now I know the real truth about aging. With each year comes new responsibilities, pressures, and expectations. Maturing essentially means sacrificing more and more and more and more, as you give up more and more and more.
Sadly for The Munch, with her turning 3 she too is going to be weighted down by new responsibilities and expectations. The fist being she is now off the boob. No more teat for her. Her days of nana (what Munch calls breastfeeding) are over.
Toni: “Happy birthday Munch!!!”
Munch: “Mamma, I want to do nana.”
Toni: “Well Munch, remember what we said. Once it’s your birthday what happens?”
Munch: “I turn three years old!”
Toni: “And what happens when you are 3?”
Munch: “No more nana!”
Munch: “ Okay, but can I just do one side?”
Forget the fact I am negotiating with my child about wanting to only nurse on one side and not the other. Forget all that because I know it’s crazy that Munch and I have real conversations about this shit! Nana has gone on long enough and she is just too verbal to continue a day longer!!! But now it is over. I have to remind Munch that 3-year olds don’t do nana, and she has to accept it.
But I feel for her when I see the disappointment in her face. Even though the solar calendar tells you that you are now in fact a year older, you don’t feel any different. You feel exactly the same as you did the day before, yet all this significance is placed on you as if you would actually feel the conversion. I am telling Munch she is 3, and now she has to behave like a 3-year old, when she probably feels just like she did when she was 2 – and still thinks a boob in her mouth is a great idea. But even though she didn’t put up a fight, I could see in The Munch’s eyes that she felt “maybe being 3 isn’t as rad as I thought.”