the smell of my desperation has become a stench

From milk to shake

A couple of months ago we weaned Marlo off of her morning bottle. SHUT IT. I know. What is a two-year-old doing with a damn bottle? Well let me tell you! Letting my cuddly two-year-old drink a bottle in the morning is much less invasive than having my husband go back to the doctor to have his vasectomy reversed, because OMG BABIES.


See? I want a baby, but I DO NOT want a baby. The sleep-deprived Heather with a three-month-old knew that this would happen so she had the foresight to prevent such nonsense. She’s like, Heather? You’re sleeping through the night and your boobs are not engorged! You can leave the house for more than an hour at a time! Also! Your husband is really old and people are going to ask your kids if he’s their grandfather.

Ahem. I mean, their very good looking grandfather, Jon.

We let her have that bottle for a few months longer than necessary, but whatever. When she gets booked for grand theft her attorneys will not be able to trace it back to this particular parental weakness. No, instead they’ll be like, “It says here that your mother wrote about you on the Internet. And joked about you committing crimes.”

Marlo, GO BIG.

Jon makes a shake every morning out of ice, orange juice, strawberries, and bananas. So we made the switch easily from bottle to shake. Sometimes, though, he’s a little slow about it, so Marlo joins me in enjoying a gluten-free bar of some sort. What? I could give her a bar with grains in it, but then if she didn’t eat it all then I couldn’t finish it for her. If it’s gluten-free, I can. No waste! I’m saving the world!

She likes the peanut butter bar, so I’ll grab one of those and a cherry one for me, and then we’ll eat them on the couch while watching the morning news. Inevitably she will try to get off the couch with that bar in her hand, crumbs shooting out all over the floor as she tumbles around the living room. Yay for the dogs, but she’s breaking the rules, so I’ll jump up and yank the bar out of her hand.

You drew first blood, Mother. You drew first blood.

Surprisingly, Marlo is a bit smarter than Leta was when throwing her body onto a surface. Leta usually chose the wooden floor. Marlo goes for softer surfaces like the couch or a dog bed. No, I don’t ever suddenly yank the dog bed out from under her so that she lands face-first on the floor, but now you’ve planted the idea in my head.

The seed. It will grow.

Yesterday morning we were enjoying our bars, and I sat there watching the news while she flipped through a book right next to me. I looked over to see how she was doing and noticed that the bar was gone. Poof! She doesn’t ever finish hers that fast so I asked her where she had put it.

“Nnn mmmm mmmmthhh,” she answered.

“What?” I asked.

“Nnn mmmm mmmmthhh.”

I ran my hand under her left leg, then her right. I checked under her butt. I flipped through every page of that book. No sign of that bar, and then she said it again, “Nnn mmmm mmmmthhh.”

These photos are courtesy of her very good looking grandfather father, who at one point told her to smile. She tried, but since her mouth was full of that bar, you can only see it in her eyes.


  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/10/03 at 1:17 pm

    You’re taking pictures of her while she’s practically choking to death?

    Plus, don’t lie: You don’t get up with her in the morning; the MAID does.

    (Ahem. Sorry. Just wanted to know what it felt like to be one of those readers.)

  • Tragic Sandwich

    2011/10/03 at 1:43 pm

    Baguette has made the switch to sippy cups, except for her Morning Bottle. She’s pretty much asleep when she drinks it, so bottle is still the way to go on that one. Meanwhile, I have no idea how to get her to learn to use a straw.

  • lilywhites05

    2011/10/03 at 1:50 pm

    Holy cow- when I first saw that picture I was like “wait, is this about marlo or leta”. I can’t believe how grown up she is! I don’t even know you all personally and I’m all blubbering and all “oh my goodness, you look just like your sister and what would leta have said about eating A GLUTEN FREE BAR”?!?!


  • Essembee

    2011/10/03 at 2:13 pm

    Woohoo, the SMIZE!

  • ScooterMarie

    2011/10/03 at 2:39 pm

    Nice! I’m so glad to hear Marlo still took a morning bottle until recently. Now I’m not worried at all that our 14 month old still takes one. And that second picture?? I’ve never seen her look more like Leta!

  • mommica

    2011/10/03 at 2:40 pm

    My second daughter is only four months old and I already want/don’t want another one. This says a lot about how different my labor/delivery was with her, because after the first? I swore off babies forever. Until, you know, I changed my mind.

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    2011/10/03 at 3:01 pm

    after lio turned 2 last march, we put his bottles in a clear ziploc and threw them in the garbage can on trash day, just before the truck arrived. then we watched the kind, gentle driver work the controls so those bottles went up, in, and CRUSH!
    he talked about it for a few days but there was no trauma. WE were so much more dependent on the bottle than he was (yes, still talking about baby bottles …)

  • yelling near you

    2011/10/03 at 3:11 pm

    That is a look of proud guiltiness. She’ll want to plead this one out – avoid the jury trial as those pictures will finish her.

  • kristanhoffman

    2011/10/03 at 3:54 pm

    No seriously, Jon really might get asked if he’s their grandfather. My dad was 45 when my parents had me, and he started getting that question when I was in middle school. (Although he looks like Santa Claus, and Jon doesn’t, so that will help.)

  • HowToBeADad

    2011/10/03 at 4:18 pm

    Dear Party-Parents,

    Please stop jumping and humping each other a mom saying “My daughter still drinks out of a bottle.” Are you the parenting police? Negative, ghostrider.

    I love reading about morning routines. Ours are so dramatic and frantic. And we only have one child. Booyah.

    Marlo is obviously taking a page out of my playbook. I would like it back.


  • Aunt_Lala

    2011/10/03 at 4:19 pm

    Haha, people think my uncle is my grandpa all.the.time. It’s hysterical.

    Marlo looks so much like Leta in that second picture, holy cow!

  • Vihra

    2011/10/03 at 6:14 pm

    I still used to drink out of a bottle when I was 4. My brother was 6 months old at the time and my parents let me join him in the evening drinking my evening portion of cocoa from my favorite bottle. I turned out ok. Or maybe not, cause I’m fighting for other people’s rights all the time. Beware – if you don’t want to raise a socialist activist, wean your baby off the bottle in time! Regards from Slovenia; somewhere in the liver of Europe. :))

  • Chabbydubbe

    2011/10/03 at 6:29 pm

    She’s so gorgeous! She looks so much more like Leta as she gets older. My 12 month old munches on a Larabar every morning too while I cook breakfast and get my almost-3 year old set up–I’m trying to wean her off nursing and this has been a great way to cut out the morning session. I do Paleo also, and have found these bars to be perfect. They have boxes of 12 Larabars that are smaller sizes (i think they’re supposed to be under 100 calories each) and those are a great size for little people. I’ve found recipes from Sarah Fragoso and Wellness Mama for a homemade version of these, but I haven’t reached that level of Domestic Goddess-hood yet, and will surely be spurned from the Celestial Kingdom for this.

  • jenwilson

    2011/10/03 at 7:04 pm

    My oldest had a bottle until she was 3.5. She also woke in the middle of the night for that bottle. AND THE WORLD DIDN’T END.

    I have the opposite problem as Jon – since she was born, people keep asking if my now-10-year-old is my sister. (Followed by “you look too young to have kids” and “you must have been REALLY young when you had her!”)

  • poopinginpeace

    2011/10/03 at 7:22 pm

    Oh Heather! I also recently went through having a hard time letting go of my baby when this happened preschool. 🙁 I didn’t think I would want another one, but there is a big part of me that does. Alas, we won’t because having 3 is expensive enough! As far as the milk is concerned, you don’t have to stop giving it to her, just give it to her in a sippy cup. That’s what we did when mine got to old for bottles, although none of them would really take a bottle to begin with, so there was that. I say as long as you’re not putting diet coke in the bottle, you’re doing okay.

  • Anja6819

    2011/10/03 at 7:48 pm

    As soon as mine started to develop a will of her own I realized that I was a much better parent before I had my own child. Mine’s 3 and a half, still uses a pacifier and drinks a sippy cup of chocolate milk in bed every night. Oh, and I took her to pre-school today without a jacket and it was only 62 degrees out and she told me herself that she was cold and I should’ve brought her jacket.

    See, there are much worse parents than you.

  • Anu

    2011/10/03 at 8:07 pm

    So cute!! And those eyes…love her.

  • dykewife

    2011/10/03 at 9:24 pm

    gluten free doesn’t mean carb free if that’s what your going for with the paleo diet. then again, i still eat hellman’s mayo because the one i made with olive and avocado oils tastes odd. not bad odd, but odd enough that i don’t want much of it at a go.

    i’ve been doing the carb free diet for a few weeks now and have dumped 7 pounds of me somewhere. i keep looking behind me to see if there’s a pile of blubber attached to my heel dragging along behind me.

  • dykewife

    2011/10/03 at 9:28 pm

    oh, the bottle. i must be a TERRIBLE parent because we let boy have his nighttime bottle until he was 3. he liked having warm milk and it helped him sleep. who am i to interfere with a child who slept for 12 hours at a go from about 5 months old on. he grew up into a fine 19 year old man.

    hey, he plays lots of video games on line. maybe kids who are allowed the bottle until they’re 3 years old become gamers. maybe that’s marlo’s fate…playing whatever version of world of warcraft is out when he’s 19 years old.

  • LifeUnordinary

    2011/10/03 at 10:00 pm

    how lovely is she. I love the October masthead by the way.

  • ahollinger

    2011/10/04 at 8:09 am

    My almost 3 year-old still has a bottle. We don’t offer it anymore, but when he begs for it, we let him have it. I asked our pediatrician about it, and he just shrugged and said, “he won’t have one when he goes to college.” I figure there are worse hang-ups in the world, although I’ll be glad when he stops insisting – and a little nostalgic since he is the one and only baby we are having. Yay for Marlo, though, on her transition to big-girl-hood.

  • MsMegan

    2011/10/04 at 8:28 am

    My son refused to drink from the sippy cup, so he stayed on the bottle until about three, then just started drinking from a regular cup. All in their own time, I say.

    And my pediatrician said the same thing as ahollinger’s.

  • ceeleelew81

    2011/10/04 at 1:50 pm

    I’m not sure if I am late to the game, or if this has been mentioned before, but it’s very interesting (funny) the parallels between Leta and Chuck, and Marlo and Coco.

  • kidsmom

    2011/10/04 at 5:38 pm

    Name the brand of the bar and they will send you free boxes, and boxes and boxes!

  • irl_lizlemon

    2011/10/04 at 6:46 pm

    Here’s a confession: I drank a nightly bottle until I was five. And I only stopped because the other kindergartners said bottles were for babies. And I was on the tit (not exclusively) till i was three. My sister also insisted on a nightly bottle till she was six. We had braces but our teeth were no worse than other kids. And I’m getting my doctorate (all that boob juice?!) and stubbornly independent. In fact, my only major issue is I’m in therapy due to attachment/abandonment issues with my mother. I can’t imagine how awful my attachment issues would be if we didn’t hold my parents hostage as a kid.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more