Weaning from the point of view of a toddler who out-nursed his welcome

5 a.m.

I am a dinosaur. Dinosaurs growl and bite. But they don’t eat. I know this because dinosaurs on TV never eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Dinosaurs must be like me, then:

Dinosaurs nurse.

I will cry now at mama’s bed. She will know to nurse the dinosaur. It’s booby time. Then nap time until booby time again. Booby time is all the time.

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Dino face. Very intimidating.

7:30 a.m.

Sun’s up! Mama and papa tell me, “Good morning.” They should just say, “Good booby,” because it’s that time again. Mama says to go to papa. Papa’s boobies are all out of milk.

Time to throw mama’s stuff. Oh look, it’s one of Mama’s things. It’s her booby helmet.

[Author note: After learning to wear a helmet on bike rides, Leo would jabber on and on about helmets. One night he was inspecting the curious contraption known as a bra and he spontaneously blurted out, “Booby helmet!”]


9:00 a.m.

Papa is leaving for work. He wants a kiss. Kisses are for Misses. I’ll kiss mama.

Wait, mama kisses papa. I must try that, but the way puppies kiss me.

Papa is all kissed. His cheeks are very slick and moist.

He calls these “kisses”.


11:00 a.m.

I am a dinosaur. I will bite mama. Mama keeps pushing at my head. Maybe she wants to be bitten sideways.


Mama is screaming! Mama is sad and upset in my direction. It makes me cry. We’re crying. The only way to feel better is to nurse on booby. Mama refuses. Mama does not want to feel better.


3:00 p.m.

Mama tried to get me to eat lunch a while ago but I successfully thwarted her out of spite. But I wish she wouldn’t keep me so hungry. I’ll use my adorable code words to get fed:

“Beeboo! Beeboo time!”

Mama refuses. Mama offers me lunch again. I have successfully thwarted her by huffing and frowning. But she needs to be arrested for child neglect because I’m so hungry. I’ll use my adorable code words again:

“Beeboo! Beeboo time!” She is relentless, offering me lunch yet again. But it’s not time to throw things at mama. I don’t want to paint mama and her new blouse with mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s not playtime. It’s time to eat.


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“Playtime” (formerly known as “lunch”)


5:30 p.m.

Papa is home! I will run wildly in his direction with arms outstretched for a hug then bail at the last moment and grab a toy. This fools him Every. Single. Time.


Mama says Papa is really smart and brags to her friends about his PhD. Too bad it’s not in early childhood development.


8:00 p.m.

Operation False Bedtime is on:

  1. Yawn as wide as possible.
  2. Get cranky.
  3. Walk around anxiously.
  4. Point to the bedroom.

Presto! Booby time! Mama knows I’ll fall asleep to booby at night.

Okay, time for the next phase of the operation: Keep eyes closed. Eyes closed. Eyes closed.

Mama is moving and trying to get away! Time to spring the trap… EYES OPEN! EYES OPEN! EYES OPEN!


9:30 p.m.

I’ve just been running around for 90 minutes straight and papa has collapsed and mama has crumpled. I am the last man standing. So why am I so sleepy? I napped for half of the day, from right before lunch to right after lunch. Yawn.

I think mama is catching on. She won’t give me booby this time. She wants to read books to me. Mama is the most widely read person I know. Mama knows everything. She even knows that I don’t need booby.

Good thing she’ll forget by 5 a.m. tomorrow.


Last man standing. Still undefeated.

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