I have a secret. A big, bad, ugly mommy secret. I know I've reveled it on here in at least one picture, but most of you were polite enough to roll your eyes at me and "tsk" without leaving any snarky comments. I thank you for that.
But, I'm coming clean. Michael, who will be three years old in two weeks, still drinks from a bottle. You know, the kind with a nipple. The kind that we are supposed to take away when they turn one. I'm one of those moms.
I know how it happened, and I don't feel bad about my decision, despite some snide comments from my mom. But, when I think back to Michael's one year appointment I know that I made the best decision that I could at the time. That's when I learned that he had dropped from 99th percentile for weight at birth to 10th percentile for weight at one year. The doctor wasn't concerned, but that doesn't mean I wasn't. My kid was skinny and he wouldn't eat. So, the logical thing for me to do was to keep providing him with the one source of nourishment that I could count on. The bottle.
And yes, I did know at the time that if I didn't take it away NOW, that it would be harder to take away when he turned into a raving, contrary two year old. (Which he did at 18 months). I knew I had signed up for the bottle battle down the round, and decided to deal with it when the time came.
Well, the time came about a year ago. Michael's weight had stabilized and he was actually eating on occasion. It was time. Well, except for that raving, contrary two year old thing. That was kind of a problem. A big problem. A scream and yell and cry kind of problem.
I'm a strong woman, but I'm not strong enough to deal with a scream and yell and blubber like I've massacred every last one of your stuffed animals kind of problem at 5:30 in the morning. I'm sorry if that makes me a bad mother, but at 5:30 am if my choice is to hand him a hot bottle of milk or face the wrath of a ballistic two year old, it's a safe bet that I'm going with the bottle.
We have been noticing some changes recently. First, Michael doesn't always want milk. He wants water sometimes, and that only comes in a straw cup or a real cup. Michael has been OK with that. Second, Michael is actually eating food. I can now count chicken nuggets as a food that Michael will normally eat. He's also eaten some bites of steak, pizza, various forms of crackers, and lots and lots of Mac 'n cheese. This is huge! And third, and most importantly, sometimes Michael is actually a reasonable person. I hate to say it because I don't want to jinx it, but he's been really pleasant lately. Rational even.
Andy got up with Michael on Saturday morning and he failed to ask for a hot bottle. (He actually asks for a "Hot bottle, but not too hot. And make sure it's filled all the way up.") When he finally got around to it, I gave him a straw cup and distracted him. It worked! That afternoon, I took Michael to Target and picked out some new cups for him. I explained that the Bottle Fairy came and took Michael's bottles for little babies that need them to eat. Then I handed him the new cups.
Every time he asked for a bottle after that, I'd remind him about the Bottle Fairy and then ask if he wanted his milk in a straw cup or a mug. He tried to tell me that he took a bottle from the Fairy. Then he tried to tell me he took one from a baby. But, he didn't really fight it. This morning, when the issue came up at 5:30 am I was prepared for a battle. However, after he shed all of two tears, I distracted him with a yellow straw in a mug. He cheered up and drank his milk. I'm hoping this continues.*
Michael is doing well, but I have to confess, the Bottle Fairy added insult to injury this weekend. Not only did she take away Michael's bottles, she also told the Laundry Fairy to wash the beloved stink out of Shirt. I'll tell you, that Bottle Fairy is a real bitch.
*I'm also hoping to keep my unrealistic fears of dehydration and starvation under control. Sometimes being a mom can be hard.