Friday, August 18, 2006

Hitting the bottle

Georgia's close-up
Originally uploaded by neila222.
Or maybe a better title would be “When babies get really pissed.” I don’t have a picture of her screaming at me, but try to imagine that sweet little face contorted in complete and utter rage. I am quickly finding out that my daughter was born with my temper. Not cool. She followed me around the better part of yesterday screaming. Not crying – screaming. She wanted her bottle, and I am the evil wench who won’t give it to her.

Georgia is almost 14 months old, and I’m hearing from doctors, friends and Parents magazine how I need to get her off the bottle and pacifier or it will just get harder. Weaning Eli off the bottle was not this difficult. He never wanted to eat, and still doesn’t. I pretty much have to force feed him at every meal, and he’s still so skinny, you can see his little ribs. When he was a baby, taking the bottle away was easy, and I think he said “good riddance” in his little baby voice when I did.

Taking away his pacifier was another story. I finally took it away when he turned three. I know I should have done it sooner, and I tried – I really did. But my son is stubborn and would stay up all night screaming for his paci. It finally got to the point where I didn’t have a choice because his teeth were getting a freakish shape to them. Avoiding large orthodontic bills was finally the incentive we needed. So, the “paci fairy” came one night and took the pacis away, leaving Eli a game. How did that go over? Well, it’s more than a year later and sometimes Eli still asks for his paci when he’s upset. I’m hoping that request will diminish as he gets closer to high school.

All this boils down to the fact that I need to get Georgia’s bottle and paci away from her sooner rather than later. But I’m worried that it may already be too late. Yesterday, during one of her many screaming fits, she would keep squeezing her little hand together, which is the sign for milk. When I would hand her a sippy cup, she would swat it away like I had utterly offended her and just start screaming louder.

Then she attacked my leg. She let out a karate yell “Yaaaaaaaa” and chomped down on my leg with her four teeth. Hmmmm, I thought, that’s new. If I’m going to have to trade the bottle in for biting, I’m not sure if I’m quite ready. Luckily, her four little teeth don’t hurt that badly, but in a few months, I could be in big trouble. Undeterred by my lack of reaction, she went over to Eli, “Yaaaaaaa” chomp. Eli squealed, “Mommy, she’s attacking me.” I personally thought it was cosmic payback from all the times Eli has taken Georgia’s toys away from her, but I removed her death grip on her brother, nonetheless.

Today is a new day, so we will see how it goes. I currently have her down to two bottles a day. Yesterday, I broke and gave her three. Today, I’m going to stick to my guns . . . I hope. Besides, I need to trim her nails today, so she’ll have something completely different to scream at me about. I decided she needed a manicure after I did dishes yesterday, and she came up behind me and started trying to pinch off a small mole on the back of my leg. Yow! That’s when I realized her little nails were way too long!

Between manicures and sippy cups, it should be a full day of enraged screaming. No matter how tough it gets I’m going to try not to hit the bottle . . . er . . . I mean Georgia won’t hit the bottle!


Justin said...

I shadowed a pediatrician for a month; her general advice was to leave the pacifier for a year at most, but if your biggest problem with a child is kicking the pacifier, then you're one hell of a parent.

She mentioned a friend of the family who is a dentist and insisted that pacifiers need to come out at six months, proudly proclaiming that this was the case for his children. Yeah. Good luck with that one.

ian said...

Hi there! I surfed in from the Bestest Blog link.

I feel your pain about "binkies" as a father of three. My older two children never really got the hang of pacifiers, but my youngest (just turned three) is quite, um, attached to his binkies. We're slowly weaning him away from them, but it's a painful and touchy process, with two steps back for every three steps forward.

Anyway, here's hoping you find some more adult interaction on the web - there seem to be a lot of us parent-types with blogs (at least from what I've encountered so far).

Stop by and say hello