It was bound to happen.
I knew it was coming.
But, I was hanging on as long as I could.
My baby is truly not a baby anymore.
It's has now been exactly seven days since Morgan Kate gave up her nighttime bottle. Yep. She did. All by herself. All on her own. With no assistance, whatsoever, from Travis or myself. (I know my friend Jenny would be so proud of MK!)
Last Monday as we were getting her ready for bed our conversation went like this:
MK: No bah-bah, Mommy.
Me: Ok, baby. Are you sure? No bah-bah?
MK: No bah-bah. No bah-bah.
Me: Alright. I guess you are a big girl now, huh?
MK: Big gull, mommy!
Me: Well, I've already fixed it, so I'll just bring it in your room and put in right here just in case.
MK: No bah-bah.
Me: Ok, no bah-bah, but it's here just in case you want it.
She never asked for it that night. And she hasn't asked for it again since. She just gave it up. All on her own. When she was ready. She is quite the big girl and I'm not sure what to think.
The part of me that hated washing bottles loves that I don't have any more to wash. The part of me that hated having to take bottles on all of our overnights loves that I no longer have to remember to pack them. But there are much bigger parts that actually miss those bottles and the little baby that used to want them. I don't even know how to really explain it. I really think MK would have given up the night bottle a while back, but I never pushed for it. I never really even tried. Giving her a bottle at night or listening as Travis gave her one was such relaxation and pure joy for me. A time for thinking. A time for reflection. A time for enjoying my girl and our time together. Sitting in that dark room with only the little night light shining I would watch her. She was so relaxed. So settled. So content. Some nights I would just watch her and think of all the things yet to come. What would she grow up to be, who would she love. Other nights my mind would drift back to those early days and my arms would squeeze her a little tighter. Some nights I would just sit and thank God over and over for this precious little girl.
Some days I feel like this whole "baby" phase goes entirely too fast. I mean one day you are bringing them home from the hospital and the next day you are worrying about whether or not they can hold their head up. You start them with bottles and worry about when they will transition to the sippy cup. They start to sit up and your mind drifts to crawling and then walking. They learn to say "Mama" and you are already thinking about phrases and sentences. Or at least that's how my mind works some of the time. I've tried so hard to enjoy every stage/phase and savor every minute of her life and her milestones. I'd like to think that I would have done that regardless, but I do think her birth and that time in my life make me appreciate things more than I would have. So maybe I've held on to some things just a little longer. Maybe I haven't always pushed things like walking and talking and giving up that night time bottle because I wanted to hang on a little longer. Maybe it's because I don't know what the future holds and I don't know if that future includes another baby, therefore, I'm going to make her my baby for as long as I can. (This post just got way deeper than I intentionally intended on going.) I guess what I'm saying is, I don't know why I've waited so long (thirty-one months, to be exact), but I'm okay with it. I'm glad I waited and that I didn't rush things. I'm glad it was something she decided and initiated. And guess what? Her teeth are perfect. They are all as healthy and as straight as can be. She's happy and my heart is full.
And, regardless of whether she's still taking a bottle or not, she will always be my baby. My precious baby girl. And besides, she still wears diapers. She's not all big girl!