Something horrible and wonderful has happened: I have lost Dean’s last bottle.
At 16 months old it’s about time to give it up anyways. Luke was off the bottle at 14 months and Kate and Andy never took one. When I was a new mommy, I secretly looked down on mothers with toddlers who still needed a bottle or a pacifier to get through the day. I would self-righteously think it was just a lack of will power and discipline on the part of the mother. “Are you in control, or the baby?” So smug.
Then I had a fourth baby when my oldest was six. Then I was in survival mode. The reason Andy and Kate never took a bottle is because I had all day to nurse them for a full year. When Luke came, I nursed him for a good six months, but then discovered, unlike his older siblings, he liked the bottle.
And suddenly, there I was at Target with a preschooler, a toddler and a baby who was announcing he was officially done with errands– and now I had two options: I could cram everyone into a dressing room to nurse the baby and play “I Spy” all the while threatening deserters that they will not get a slushie when this is all over if they crawl under that door one more time! Or I could add a couple scoops of formula to this bottle of water here in my purse, shake it, and be on our merry way. Option two won.
The same thing happened with Dean. Six months of the good stuff and then the bottle won. But the bottle has been good to us. It’s seen us through long car trips, movies, the kid’s practices, lessons and games. It’s been there at 2am when he couldn’t sleep and again at 5am when I wanted to sleep some more. And now it’s gone.
Yesterday I found myself at Target again. This time with a happy, older Dean on my hip and we stood there admiring all the lovely new bottles. What to do… It has been four nights now we’ve gone to bed bottleless…I decided to heed the old adage, “if you love something, let it go.”
Good bye old friend.