Oh, my poor child, I have a confession to make to the world. You're nearly two years old (I know, right, I want to tell myself "you just shut yer damn mouth with them dirty awful words!") and I have been secretly letting you have a bottle at bedtime. And, wait for it...a bottle in the middle of the night. My excuse: you're my baby and it's the only time you'll really sit still and cuddle. Except that part is not true anymore. Yes, you're my baby, but you're definitely into the cuddling, sitting on my lap stage now. So, here's how we arrived at this embarrassing moment in life.
You started sleeping through the night - and by sleeping through the night, I mean that you would sleep until about 5:30 and then wake up like that's a NORMAL TIME TO WAKE UP - around 6 months old. You'd wake up super early, but I could give you a bottle, put you in bed with me, and you'd sleep until a more decent hour. Well, around 10 1/2 months old, you were teething, and got those nasty pointy teeth right next to the big ones in the middle that have the same adorable gap your dad has. You got an ear infection and were up with fever a lot at night, and you weren't eating much duing the day, so you were drinking a lot more milk and I started giving you bottles when you woke up at night to soothe you back to sleep since you never believed in the Power of The Binky.
Well, dear, here we are ONE WHOLE YEAR later. You've consistently woken up and requested a bottle since. And, I being the softy that I am, would oblige you. Again, you haven't been really into cuddling up until the past couple of months, so it was an excuse to hold you and sing to you and kiss your cheeks and smell your head. Now, let me go ahead and explain to the internet, that I am FULLY AWARE that this is a parenting "no-no". I mean, who wakes up at 2am to give their 18 month old a bottle? CRAZY PEOPLE. That's who!!
But, as everyone around here know, and you do too, Gage, we are having another baby. And, that kinda helps me loosen up on the treating you like an infant and letting you be the big boy that you are. This also means I am forcing you to give up the bottle. If I wasn't pregnant, I'm sure I'd be hitting the bottle right now. It breaks my heart to force you to transition, but I know in the long run, it will keep you from being as jealous of the new baby and it will also allow me to sleep through the night for a few months before I have another newborn constantly requesting my boob at 12, 2, 4, and 6am.
You've done OK so far. And, by so far, I mean it's been two nights of no bottle. We started the "no bottle" deal three nights ago, but when you woke up at 2am the first night, I sorta forgot and came into your room with a warm bottle of milk and you probably thought that the evil lady who had taken over your mother at bedtime was gone and your wonderful, loving, bottle-bearing mommy was back. The 2nd night was rough because I refused the bottle and brought you a cup of cold milk instead. You told me to get out. I let you fuss and moan for a while and then you finally went back to sleep. Last night, I tried a new method. You have this little Toy Story sport top water bottle - it's like the kind we use to get with our bicycles that had a little metal holder and typically coordinated with the color of the bike - and I offered you milk in THAT at bedtime. You seemed ok with it. And, when you woke up at 5:15 this morning - yep, you didn't wake up at 2am for milk that you knew I wouldn't bring - I told you it was still "night night" and offered you the Toy Story bottle. You got pissed and told me to get out again, but then you said "hold it?" and I gave it to you and left your room. You talked to yourself about how horrible of a mother I am, and eventually went back to sleep.
Now, it did cross my mind that there may be a milk disaster in your room this morning, but when you woke up and I came into your room, you had very smartly set the bottle in the corner of your crib where it wouldn't spill. You're a freakin' genius, kid!
Really, though, I know we'll get through this. We have to. You're almost two and its embarrassing for both of us that you're drinking a bottle of milk at 2am. My goal is for you to never drink from a bottle again. Until you're old enough to consume alcoholic beverages, and, then enjoy responsibly my dear!
On to the amazing things you're doing now. You are learning SO MUCH at daycare. You know about 70% of the alphabet. You can sing the whole thing, but some parts are more sound than letters. Some letters are very clear, and I am a very proud mommy! You are counting things "one-two" and you randomly counted to seven this past week. You know ALL your body parts - including wrists and ankles and shoulders - and pretty much all the animals and their sounds. You're doing better with colors. As opposed to calling everything "yellow" like you were doing for a while.
You say "I love you, Mommy" to me first. You grab my face and kiss me. You give excellent hugs. You apologize when you do something you shouldn't. Sometimes you apologize for us, like when you expect an apology for being bumped into. You have such an understanding of words and ideas and actions. You've got enough personality for three children. You're such a blast, Gage. You're more and more fun everyday. You make life so much fun and so much more worth living. Your dad and I love you to the moon and back and can't wait for you to have a sibling to play with and get into trouble with. You're truly an awesome person. I'll take a little credit for that.