Monday, April 27, 2009

The Bottle Fairy

Shhh...

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.

10 comments:

Steph said...

Sounds like the Bottle Fairy kicked butt this weekend! You know, having a child that is a hyper-picky eater will lead you to some decisions that you never thought you would make. I've been there w/Cooper over the last 3 years. Now, he's actually asking for food and snacks... still not taking me up on trying any new foods, but hey, actually asking for a snack or dinner is progress!

LauraC said...

I don't think you need to justify him still having a bottle! I think we all have things where the parents are more afraid to make the switch than the kid. We cold turkey took away bottles the week after the boys turned one. But I was really afraid to take away pacis bc of what might happen (and yet, that was also easy). I think waiting until both people are ready is key!

So YAY YAY YAY for bottle fairy.

Mel said...

We are still holding dearly to the paci here. Only I have taken to hiding it during the day and only giving it at nap and bedtime. Not sure when the paci fairy wil visit. I'm glad the bottle fairy worked for you! Did the laundry fairy wash the maternity shirt of yours that is Michael's lovey??

Beth said...

I have a similar issue with William--although it's not the bottle he's attached to. It's chocolate milk at night before bed, and first thing in the morning. As in 5:30 in the morning. And I have the same justification in that William is not interested in food, so I feel better if I know that if nothing else, he's gotten protein and calories from milk (and even some vitamins from the Ovaltine). But then when he's not eating breakfast, I wonder if it's because I'm filling him up with chocolate milk. But oh the battle that will ensue when I tell him he can't have his chocolate milk until after breakfast! Anyway, we all have reasons that justify our choices. And very few elementary age kids are still drinking from bottles. They all let go eventually, and there's a lot to be said for letting them do it when they're ready! (With a little push from Mom and Dad of course!) Nice work, Mom!

Deanna said...

Way to go, Bottle Fairy!

Kara said...

Yay for the bottle fairy!! Glad everything is working out. I feel you have to wait until the child is ready and every child is ready at a different time. My 14 month old is on a bottle and I didnt even begin to potty train Kendall until she was about 34 months old. That's when she showed signs that she was interested and let me tell you it was easy!! Only took about 3 days. I'm not going to tackle Kylee's bottle until she shows signs that she is no longer interested in it. You gotta do things when both mom and child are on board.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to Deanna - long over due Bottle Fairy.

DesiDVM said...

This is one of those battles you have to fight on your own time, no matter what someone else may say. For us it was the beloved binky. We tried to take it away about a year ago with disastrous results. So we gave it back, and when we tried again around Christmas time there was no fighting at all. Binky went in the trash without a single tear being shed. This is a big mom lesson - WAIT FOR THEM TO BE READY. I'm still learning that one (hello, potty training).

Anonymous said...

DesiDVM comments are true about being ready BUT you must always keep in mind that the cute two year old grows up to sometimes be a stubborn 12 year old and that philosphy won't work ;)

Deanna said...

Just to amend my comment...our almost 17 month old is still on the bottle. I came close to throwing all of the bottles out one day and forcing us to give up the bottle (notice the "us") but then I started crying so hubby washed them all and set them up ready to use again. Maybe I'm the one that needs the bottle fairy? that's disturbing...