Milk Does a Body Good, but the Bottles — Lord!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It was the chimney guy making a casual observation that sent me blathering in an excuse-heavy spin, making it very clear that I needed to get a handle on this situation. My secret “shame” had gone on long enough. Time to do something about it. Time to come clean.

OK, the confession: My son drank his warm milk out of a bottle until he was 4.5 years old. How old is now? Oh, uh, he’s 4.5 years old.

To explain …

Nice gentleman comes by the house to clean the chimney and check the fireplace. As we ‘re wrapping up the visit, he hands me a company coloring book for my child. He’s an observant guy and noticed the little clues and tiny shoes by the door. As we move through the kitchen so I can grab a pen, he  notices the baby bottles drying on the counter.

“Oh, looks like you have another, even littler one. Should I give you two coloring books?” he says, reaching into his bag. “Although, at that age, I don’t know if there’s much coloring going on, huh?” He chuckles and gestures to my private scandal posed there by the sink. “The bottles,” he says, as if I didn’t know. UGGGH!

That’s when I start …

I know, I know! It’s not the worst thing, but we’re gearing up to stop, and with the recent move, we didn’t want to make too many big changes for him, and it’s just for comfort, it’s his routine, in the morning when he gets up and then at night after the bath and stories, and the snuggling in the morning is nice, and it’s not the worst thing, it’s a pain washing them these days, but we’ll figure it out, and he’s not going to head to college still drinking from one, right?

The poor chimney guy must have been thinking, “Now, where is the closest exit.” He was gracious enough to not let the fear wash over his face, and just smiled (though a bit nervously) and nodded while finishing up his paperwork.

Finally, I said: “Oh, one coloring book is fine. Thanks.”

IMG_7876

 The Youngster and I have had honest conversations about his leaving the bottle behind. He even said that when he turned 4 it would be a good time to move on from them. Then he turned 4 … aaannnd informed me that he wouldn’t be ready until later. Like, when he turns 5.

After the chimney moment I decided to take the reins back from this kid. I told my son that after Halloween it would be brand new month and the perfect time to start a new milk routine — one that did not include the bottles. I said we’ll pack up the last of the baby items (the potty and bottles), since he was an official big boy. After some pointed questions (Where would we send these items? Why do other babies would them? Which babies, exactly — like, name names, woman — would use them?), The Youngster agreed that starting November as a true big boy was a good idea.

Every few days I would look at the calendar with him, remind him that after the fun of Halloween we would be packing up the baby stuff. He was hyped, nodding and echoing my enthusiasm. “Yeah, goodbye, baby stuff!

Then the first bottle-free night came. The routine went as usual: bath, jammies, and story time with warm milk. We used a water bottle that he picked out in his favorite color. After a few, “I think when I turn 5 this will be better. The bottle still works because I’m only four-and-a-half,” the guy finally took the to cup and drank all the milk.

IMG_7884

High-fives all around!

That is until the next morning when there was a fresh production about the problems with this new system. “It’s a water bottle, after all,” the kid actually said. (It took everything not to crack up when he hit me with that one!) We talked it through and he drank a little milk that morning, complaining with every little sip.

We’re still working on it. However, there’s one thing I know for sure: those baby bottles cannot return. In fact, I packed them up and pushed them in some obscure corner of the cold garage to make sure that, in a moment of frustration, I don’t step backwards and go the assumed easy route.

I’m sticking with this. We’ll reach cruising altitude soon. And when we get there, I might just pull out that chimney guy’s coloring book and frame it.

Do you have any “baby stuff” routines that you’re holding on to with your little big kid? Care to ‘fess up? No judgment. No coloring books.

2 Comments
  • 1
    Skye says:

    One parent sat in my son’s room with him at night, until he fell asleep (or we couldn’t take it anymore after 15-30 minutes), until he was six.

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Skye! Thanks for commenting. I’ve been looking for you. Good news: You won the Andrew Mellen “Unstuff Your Life” book! Would you please email me your mailing addy? get[dot]msmack[at]gmail[dot]com