As you blunder through life as a mommy (or daddy) you make judgement calls along the way about certain issues. I like to call this "parenting" -- and while it is hard to say if there is really a "right" or a "wrong" when it comes to making these decisions, somewhere down the line you may realize you made an earlier judgement call that is coming back to bite you in the ass... BIG time. That ass-biting is happening in our household right this VERY INSTANT.
You see, we had some trouble getting Kate to sleep as a newborn. Shocker right? Baby NOT sleeping? We were total amateurs who expected more from our little bundle of newly born perfectness. Now we know better. Newborn = no sleep. Got it. But after several months of little sleep, Ben and I were frankly ready to do anything, including running away to Mexico to leave the other parent stranded with the sleepless baby... SUCKER!
Long story short, by the time Kate was six months old we had taught her to sleep through the night. She just had to have her lovey and a bottle before bed. THATS RIGHT I SAID IT. A bottle before bed. We were desperate, and sleepy, and frankly, if my baby wants to hit the bottle before bed, who am I to tell her no? But it worked, Kate sleeps 10-12 hours a night. The only time we have sleep issues is when she is teething or sick, and she is easily rocked (or bottled) back to bed.
Even during the day, Kate loves to just unwind with a bottle. It is her early morning and mid-afternoon veg time. Like mommy and happy hour. And while she will drink water from a cup like a champ, if you put milk in that same cup during bottle time, girlfriend looks at you like she wants to run you over with a steam roller. Basically, the cup isn't the issue so much as the lack of bottle during appropriate bottle drinking times that causes much wailing and gnashing of sharp little baby teeth. By teaching her to unwind and relax with a bottle at night, we've caused her to become dependent on the bottle to relax and unwind during the day as well. My baby truly is a bottle milk-aholic.
But now, she is a big girl. She is a one-year old toddler and I have been informed by Kate's pediatrician that if she doesn't get off the bottle, she is going to have hillbilly teeth for the rest of her life and no one will love her. Ever. So starts the battle for the bottle.
I tried to cut her off last week when Ben was out of town. I wasn't strong enough. After much crying and pointing and wailing and sleeplessness, I gave in. But today, with Ben back in town, we are starting it again. And all I can think is that Kate got her last bottle this morning with Ben and she didn't even really know it was the last time she was going to have that pleasure. I feel like we should give the bottle a going-away party, or at least let her know that "Okay, this is the LAST TIME... so savor it."
And, maybe I'm making it a bigger deal than it is, but like anything that I've seen go by the wayside, it marks another part of her childhood, her babyness, that is ending and I find it really bittersweet.
But if I never have to wash another damn bottle in my life it will be SOOOO worth it.