Up until yesterday, my twin tots still drank out of a bottle. Yes, I know they’re almost 19 months old; and yes, I know the bottle could do funky things to their teeth… but given that that was the only consequence of continued bottle usage that I’ve been able to come up with, I haven’t really stressed it. I’m willing to bear the brunt of a little orthodontia later on.
You should see my son’s pitiful little face when I try and make him drink his milk out of a cup. It just breaks my heart; and let’s not even begin to talk about the tantrums my little diva throws. Her and I have had to box quite a few times over it. It’s quite an ordeal. After playing with, changing, feeding, and entertaining those two little joker’s all day, it’s easier to just keep the peace.
My enabling came to an abrupt end yesterday when at the doctor’s office I accidentally let it slip that my children still drank from a bottle. Her face tightened a bit at hearing this bit of information.
“Weeell. The bottle should have been gone when they hit 12 months. Then it really should have been gone when they hit 15 months. Then it REALLY should have been gone by 18 months,” she explained in her usually animated voice.
“But my kids need it. You should see them when I try and take it away. It’s like Armageddon.”
“I hate to break the news to you,” she replied “but they don’t need it. They’re emotionally attached to that bottle. It’s like a security blanket.”
I knew deep down that in the grand scheme of things I would eventually do something to screw up my children to some degree. You know – give them a complex about their clothes or make them mildly OCD, but I never expected it to happen this soon. This was a change that simply needed to happen – a part of growing up. The doctor was right. My children are addicted to their bottle. It’s an object that has provided comfort to them for the majority of their short lives. You can see it in their faces when they get their regular morning bottle. Their little eyes roll back in their faces, and their tiny fist clinch as they suck away at that BPA free rubber goodness. I’m sure their tiny brains hold memories of breastfeeding and the comfort that it brought; But now the party is over. That ship has sailed. It is time to move on to a new chapter.
Oh what it means to grow older.
How to Transition From Bottle
I wasn’t sure how to go about this. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t tried to ween them off of it before. They’re just a tough sell when it comes to milk in a cup. ‘Milk doesn’t go in a cup. It goes in a bottle; and I want it now!’ their little faces would say.
I decided to have a ceremony.
I washed their bottles for the last time and placed them gingerly inside a canvas shopping bag. I had the twins say ‘bye-bye’ to their bottles as I told them “no more” hoping that they would get the point.
You may find this scenario funny, and prior to having children I would have thought so too; but the funny yet true reality is that these bottles have been a fixture in our lives for well over a year. They’ve been the foundation for so many memories. (When they held their bottles on their own for the first time that symbolized their first small steps toward independence.) And they’ve also been the route of much debate. (Fighting over who’s turn it was to wash them was a frequent occurrence in my household.)
Right now we’re at a point of contention. We’re all wondering who will break first. The twins aren’t happy with this change, and they know that mommy has broken before; but I’m going to stick this one out. The bottles have gone bye-bye and an era has ended. I’m hoping they’ll understand soon.
Maybe a small piece of the problem was me not wanting to let go.
Oh bottles… Who knew you could be so profound?
No one tells you about these things when you begin your journey as a parent. I’m anxious to see what’s next.
For some fantastic tips on how to make the transition from bottle to cup, check out: