At Tori's twelve month appointment, my pediatrician looked sternly at me over her glasses and asked, "is she still getting bottles?"
When I shamefacedly admitted that yes, I hadn't even attempted to wean her from her naptime and bedtime bottles, she launched into a full-blown lecture.
I had better do it sooner rather than later, she said.
Every day I waited, I made the eventual trauma of having to go bottle-less a little worse for Tori. Delay too long and I might as well start a savings account to pay for her future therapy bills.
Plus, Tori's teeth were in danger of rotting out of her head and when they did, she'd be the only second-grader with dentures in Bloomington.
So, the pediatrician advised, I should just start replacing the milk in her bottles with water, and before anyone could yell "say cheeeeeese," she'd be off the bottle and on her way to a picture perfect smile.
Thoroughly cowed, I swore to follow my physician's sage advice.
The day after Tori's appointment, I replaced the milk in her bedtime bottle with some warm water. But when I gave it to her? She took one short guzzle before making a horrified face and throwing it clear across the room.
And her screams? Might just have pierced the sound barrier.
Needless to say, I went and got her some milk.
The next night, I tried the old switcheroo again, with equally painful results.
And again the next.
And after that? I gave up. There is only so much pain my ear drums can stand, you know?
Besides, I like (make that love) those few quiet moments we get together while she drinks her bottle. She curls up on my lap in the big blue chair and grabs her bottle with one hand while she runs the other through my hair. Meanwhile, I bury my nose in the sweet grassy scent of her head, close my eyes and enjoy her warm, heavy stillness.
Then, when she's done, she turns around in my arms and chatters at me, playing with my lips and beeping my nose. I beep her back and together we giggle, reconnecting after the long hours apart. It's easily one of the best parts of my whole day.
So yes, my daughter's a bottle-holic. But while they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, I'm not ready to do anything about it yet.
Is it so wrong to want to hang tight to this last little bit of baby-ness just a little longer?