There is a baby bottle standing on the kitchen counter. It keeps being moved around, lid loosely over teat, like it needs to be washed but no one can really be bothered to do it.
OK, I’ll own up. I keep moving it. It’s actually clean but I’m not putting it away. As far as I’m concerned I’m gonna keep shuffling that sucker around until next year. Because I’m just not ready to come to terms with the fact that my 23 month-old has stopped drinking from it.
What happened, baby? Just a month ago you could have swallowed a newborn alive if it stood between you and your milk. Then the nursery reports started coming: Refused milk today, and today, and today too.
As I held you, not upright but lying down like the BABY you still are, and tried to feed you, you shook your head in horror as if I was Walter White administering you ricin.
How did this come to be? You were due on this day, one chilly Christmas Eve two years ago, but you held on tight inside my tummy until January, proving your resilience and determination in staying one step behind that overrated business of being born and immediately getting older.
So you see, there’s still time. You can do it. There’s a few weeks left, kiddo. A few weeks, until clothes shops that sell 0-24 stop classing you as an infant and propel you closer to tax paying territory. A few weeks until we fly home three days before your second birthday and you go as an infant but return on a child’s ticket. A few weeks to stop me from sobbing into my Christmas wine glass(es) wondering when in the last 12 months of sleep deprived haze you decided to do this and who the hell let you.
So do this for mummy, will you? Take the bottle. It’s not that hard. You’re still technically a baby. You wake me up every 10 minutes, I still change your nappies, there are 15 dummies in a bowl next to your cot and you’re singing happy birthday to the Christmas tree, a total giveaway that you literally don’t have a clue what’s going on, outside of the fact that IT IS Jesus’ birthday which actually makes you frighteningly clever but let’s not go there.
So here’s the deal: Unless you take to milk like Rudolph to booze (come on, who’s he kidding with that red nose?) shun this growing up business and become one with that bottle until January you’re not getting potty trained until you’re 18.
Merry Christmas, son.
Baby. I meant baby.