Most parents have more than one bottle in rotation, but Violet uses hers so infrequently that it’s always washed and ready when we need it. Today, however, my wife dug out the box of extra bottles and feeding accessories, hoping to find a replacement. Violet has relentlessly chewed the nipple of her bottle, enlarging the hole to the point where the nipple is now more of a straw. One of the bottles in storage took me by surprise. I hadn’t seen it since Violet was only a month or two old. It has a nipple within a nipple, a design intended to reduce the amount of air a baby takes in when feeding. We’d had some trouble with her taking her original bottle, and we’d bought the fancy one, hoping she would like it better. I can’t remember her reaction, but the fact that we relegated it to the storage bin probably means that she didn’t like it. But what struck me today was how unfamiliar it looked, as if I hadn’t seen it in years. Violet (and everything that goes along with her) still feels like a new addition to our lives, and although, in the grand scheme of things, she is just that, the fact remains that she’s nearly a year old. My wife and I have talked about it many times. We, along with family and friends, ooh and ahh and express disbelief over the fact; how fast the time has gone by, but it didn’t punch me in the ear until today. When I turned that bottle over in my hand, I remembered last winter, offering it to Violet in the middle of the night, swaying back and forth in the rocking chair. That was back when middle-of-the-night feedings were just part of the routine and back then, it felt like they always would be. Violet was a different baby. We were different people. It seems like so long ago.
328 days old