Wednesday 10 August 2011

Battling Bottles

So, Daughter finally took a bottle.

It was a really strange experience - liberating in that she was no longer solely dependant on me, heart wrenching because she was no longer solely dependant on me, exciting because she was trying a new taste for the first time and, dare I say it? Intimate.

This is the most intimate feeding experience I've had with Daughter since she was born, and possibly the closest I've felt to her. Instead of just latching her onto a boob and then distracting myself with mindless TV, I actually took the time to look at her. We stared at one another throughout the feed, chatted a little bit and had a really snuggly time. This was the first case where I was sad when feeding was finished.

Thinking about it afterwards, I began to see why. Aside from the D-MER and the resentment that brings with it, the act of preparing the bottle had been one of love for me.

I'm a big girl - always have been and always will be - and food is one of my love things. By love things I mean, ways in which I show affection. I love to cook for people. And though it's rarely more adventurous than tossing a few chips in the fryer, or chopping a few veg up for Sunday Roast, I know that the fact I've made an effort preparing the food sets it apart from the frozen junk I am guilty of eating when it's just me in the house. The bottle was the first food I've prepared for Daughter and was the first time she felt like a big person in her own right, rather than a byproduct of pregnancy.

God, that sounds awful.

The thing is, people seem to forget that a baby is a tiny human being. When we were on holiday, I kept trying to pay childrens fare for her, but the staff kept saying, 'babies don't count'. Even my family, who we bummed the lift to France with - baby passports are a tale worth telling! - kept saying, 'There are five of us. Oh, and Daughter.' As if she wasn't to be included with the rest.

I don't know when other people are going to start seeing her as a human in her own right. When she can talk, maybe? Right now, there are just all kinds of methods and theories to be applied in regards to her feeding, sleeping, playing... why can't we just say, 'ok, this kid hates bottles and likes to sleep with Mum and Dad'? It doesn't make her naughty or unhealthy because she has a preference she's unable to articulate...

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