I was just settling into the comfy chair with Lucas, preparing for our regular bedtime routine. He’ll nurse for a few minutes and then I’ll cuddle him to sleep – the third child truly is spoiled rotten. I’d just pulled him in close when I realized I’d completely forgotten to give him his after-dinner bottle. (I blame Granny and Papa Lou for their scintillating after-dinner conversation.)
I looked down at him and said, “Oh no! We forgot to give you your bottle! I’m so sorry!” He looked up at me with his beautiful brown eyes and said, “Bottle.” Clear as day! He’s got a dozen or 20 words, but I hadn’t heard that one before. What really shocks me, though, is how much he understands of what we say to him. Unbiased as I am, I truly think he’s ahead of the curve in comprehension.
I laughed and started pulling up my shirt to offer him a boob, figuring even though he’d be down a couple of ounces of milk because we’d skipped the bottle he’d survive and it was too late to bother now. He looked at my breast, looked at me and pointed quite clearly to the shelf in the kitchen where I keep the baby bottles, which we could see from the chair, and said, “Bottle.”
“Okay,” I said, laughing again, “I’ll give you a bottle. But you have to drink a little bit of this first.” The nursing is staggering to a halt, but I’m doing what I can to prolong it. He took about four cursory slurps, popped off the nipple and pointed at the kitchen. “Bottle.”
This is the same child who last summer would pop off the boob randomly to suck on his own toes. It’s a good thing my ego is not fragile, I tell you. Apparently toes and cow’s milk are both preferable to whatever I’m brewing up.
So I brought him into the kitchen, where he giggled in delight as I poured the milk into a bottle. He pointed at the microwave and said, “Bottle!” while it warmed, and proceeded to snarf down all six ounces. For good measure, as I was finally settling in to cuddle him to sleep, he arched his back to look at the empty bottle on the end table where I had placed it.
“Bottle!” he announced, pointing to it and grinning at me with a look of self-satisfaction that clearly said, “I am the cleverest baby who ever lived, and aren’t I devilishly cute, too?”
Somehow, I think I’m going to spend a lot of this child’s lifetime thinking, “It’s a good thing you’re so darn cute…”