Wean, My Love

We’ve been seeing a different side of Moo lately. It all started at her 15 month well baby visit. I told the Dr that I was still giving her daily bottles. If not in the morning, then surely after her nap. He recommended that I quit the practice entirely and I had to admit that he was probably right.
The truth is I agreed with him with every clear thinking, responsible thought in my head. I had agreed when he told me the same thing at her 12 month visit to his office. I’d never needed the recommendation before. My first two babies were irrefutably weaned at their respective 12 month appointments. Granted, bottles didn’t enter into the equation either of those times, but still.
I ignored the advice in spite of agreeing with it because with bottles on my side, I wasn’t automatically on duty once I heard her wake up. Hand that babe 10 ounces of vitamin D milk and you’ve got your self fifteen minutes to get your head back in the game.
I was lazy, and I was hiding behind the bottle. I liked the 15 minute warning and I wanted to keep it, but all good things must come to an end.
Bottle free, the aftereffects of nap time are not the pleasant rested baby you’d expect. She put up with the new bottle-less tomfoolery for a while but she wasn’t liking it and she showed her displeasure with increasing violence.
The cuddly good-natured baby I once knew didn’t equate with the fledgling banshee I found in my charge, yet some how I knew them to be one.
Wednesday afternoon, finding myself rather fatigued I decided to try for a quick nap before quiet time collapsed around my ears. Just then she woke up.
In a desperate play for time and hoping she’d fall miraculously back to sleep, I gave in and granted her the bottle.
She didn’t go back to sleep, but when I fetched her from her bed there was no wailing. It was as if she were saying to me “You see Mama? When you cooperate there’s no need for any unpleasantness. You keep giving me bottles and I’ll have no reason to continue fine tuning deaths’ wail for use against you,”
There were no bottles Thursday. I feared the worst. After Wednesday’s reunion with her beloved, a refusal to grant the same could have been devastating.
Cautiously, I offered the sippy cup. I’m not a fan of the sippy, but the little banshee tends to throw things she does not want and cups full of milk are not things I want thrown around my house so we’ve been sticking with sippys of late.
She refused the milk with a vigorous shake of her head. I gritted my teeth waiting…the head shake is a warning, if demands are not met when the head shakes, screaming will follow.
With trepidation I offered a cracker.
…And she took it! She took the cracker! Then she allowed herself to be placed in the highchair with no fuss, and before long was drinking her milk.
No bottles and no screaming. A miracle.
Later on she voluntarily left my arms to play on the floor with toys.
Would wonders never cease?
They would indeed. It is Friday, she is napping now and there have been wails already. Nap time will soon end and the bottle question is sure to be raised.
Who will be today’s winner?
Will we end the day in another grueling stale mate, me refusing to grant the bottle and her screaming my punishment until bed time? Will she back down, peacefully accepting a less preferred mode of drink? Or will her banshee’s cry reach full strength and kill me dead, the refused milk dripping slowly from the spout of the sippy cup clutched in my cold, stiffening hand?

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