The baby giveth freedom. The baby fighteth like hell to take it away.

At four weeks old, darling baby Avery took a bottle for the first time. Said bottle was administered by her loving father. In true tank fashion, she chugged down nearly four ounces. By all accounts, it was a success.

Avery, post-first bottle. A placid little angel.

The ability to pump milk and have my child eat that pumped milk from a bottle represented freedom. I was now free to leave Avery for longer than 30 minutes at a time. I could work out. I could have a girls night. Let's be honest. What it really meant is that I could work out. Can I get a hallelujah? Hell yes.

The day after Avery took her first bottle, I went for a run. It was slow, slogging, and freaking glorious. Don't get me wrong, I love my kid, but it had been 16 weeks since I'd been on a run, and I really needed it.

Fast forward 8 weeks, and the gift of freedom that Avery gave is that same gift that she is now vociferously trying to rescind. Over the past few weeks, the list of people with whom she's interested in hanging out has dwindled to two: her mama and her papa. Everyone else can pretty much go right to hell, including grandparents. Last week, she screamed bloody murder for 45 minutes at the daycare at Seattle Athletic Club. The poor women looked like she might have PBTSD (Post-Baby Traumatic Stress Disorder). Today, while I was in spin class, she whimpered and whined for a different daycare person, who had to hold her for 80 consecutive minutes in order to keep the fuss'n'grump to a minimum. On Monday, she lost her shit for Grandma Pepple for a solid 60 minutes. Do you know what crying with a bottle nipple in the mouth sounds like? Grandma Pepple sure as hell does.

I am going back to work in a week and a half. Part of me is dreading this. Part of me is excited to have something to talk about besides the nap schedule and the feeding schedule and the urping schedule. Part of me is relieved that Avery is going to have nearly five weeks with Mark before she has to go to Grandma and daycare five days a week. It will hopefully save the poor, unsuspecting daycare people a considerable amount of drama and agony. I pity those people. I really do.

Avery, in full scrunch face.


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