My neighbor, a native Israeli who has a 3-year-old and a 1-year old, and I are conversing about how my youngest child, a 2.5-year-old, still nurses. I tell her I have no reason to stop if he still wants to nurse.
Curious, she inquires, “So…how do you wean them?” (We have four older children.) So I say, well, I first wean them during the night.
“At night?” she questioned, shocked, wishing to clarify whether I actually said “night.”
I am taken aback, thinking, don’t many mothers start the weaning process by night-weaning first?
“Yeah,” I continue, “I just want them to finally sleep through the night — I don’t want to have to get up every few hours anymore.”
“That’s so funny,” she replies, “Most mothers I know start weaning during the daytime!”
Still a confused, I say to myself, hey, maybe it’s an Israeli thing not to start weaning with night-weaning?
She furthers her curiosity: “OK — so does he wear underwear at night?”
“Underwear?” I’m perplexed. Why’s she suddenly talking about underwear?
OOOOHHH, you mean THAT kind of weaning.
See, in Hebrew, the same word — לגמול — is used for breastfeeding weaning as “weaning” from diapers, i.e., toilet training.
We have a laugh, and I’m like, “Well, I’m glad we got that clarified…but we were talking about nursing!”
“Yeah,” she agreed, “I did change the subject…And now I understand why you said you start weaning them at night.”