Five More Hours, Please

Ee woke up last night a little before 3 a.m. Don’t lecture me — first of all, she’s two and a half, and she still takes a bottle. I don’t really care what she “should” be doing with the bottle. I know today’s parents are all hyper about what their kids should be doing when, but I try to chill about that kind of thing. She’s smart, she’s not lagging in any developmental capacity. She does take a cup most of the time, so I’m not worried that she’ll still be taking the bottle when she applies for college.

But I am trying to dial the whole bottle experience down. First of all, she used to call for a new bottle in the middle of the night. So that got old fairly quickly. First I switched from milk to a mixture of mostly water and juice. Then, to keep her from calling in the middle of the night, I started leaving it for her when I went to bed. That worked for about two weeks. Next, she started drinking that whole thing and then calling for more at 3 a.m. So, I cut out the juice and just put water in the bottle. That’s been working for a month or so, and she hasn’t even been drinking much of the water. Victory!

…as always, is short-lived. Last night, she started calling for milk at 2:50. I dug in my heels. I wasn’t going back. I wasn’t going downstairs. She cried. She screamed. She woke up one of her brothers. I went in a few times. I let her sleep with the light on (another issue, for another post…), I rocked her. Still she screamed.

I found myself lying in bed, applauding her tenacity, but also imagining that the applause was the sound of one of my hands clapping against her ass.

I won a hollow victory when she dropped off to sleep around 4:30. I lay there for another 20 minute listening to the gentle rhythm of her crying hiccups. I love that sound.

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