Empty bottles. Thousands and thousands of empty bottles.
And not the cool type of bottles. Not the bottles that tell everyone that visits your home that you just had a kick ass party and that the assorted stank bottles are evidence of your greatness. None of these bottles contain the worm. Not the type of bottles that contain some herbal supplement because you are a believer in alternative therapy—at least then you would have something to talk about even if you are a nut job.
My bottles are baby bottles. And there seems to be thousands of them staring up at me from the sink. Smug little bastards, that’s all they are.
It wouldn’t be so bad maybe if there were only bottles in my dirty sink. You may not know this, but bottles come with accessories like some Machiavellian Hillfiger designed these fucking things. Each bottle comes with a nipple that is entirely separate. And each bottle comes with a cap that attaches the nipple to the bottle itself. They all have to be washed, every single piece of crap that comes with the bottle has to be washed.
Why don’t you just put them in the dishwasher you may be saying? Blow me, that’s my reply because you have no idea. Babies eat all. The. Freaking. Time. And if you supplement on occasion, like my wife and I do, that means that you have enough bottles that if they were currency you would be loaded. I want to move to that land and hire someone to wash my bottles.
When we first started using bottles we thought we were going to be those responsible uber parents. We were going to sterilize everything, all the time! We would boil everything, every time! I had a big pot! We had a stove! Nothing would stand in our way!
Except for the massive amount of bottles that you use.
We quickly abandoned this idea when we realized that we would have to be constantly sterilizing, by the hour rather than by the week. If I was an army sergeant, I would force those on KP to wash bottles rather than peel potatoes.
Now I will freely admit that I have never been the cleanest person around. In fact, I’m sure that some of my friends will tell you horrible stories about disgusting things that may or may not include a glass of milk being under my bed for a year before being thrown away. They lie, just keep that in mind. But other than that, sure, I don’t like to clean. I pity those that do like to clean. Seriously man, that’s all you got? Go outside and look up, that’s called the sun. Get to enjoy it a little.
I even hired a maid to make up for my lazy ways. It’s win, win. She gets to clean my house and go through my underwear drawer and I get to lay around, how could you not love that?
Every parent has taken that parent short cut from time to time. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. I’m sure that every parent has let their child have cake for dinner rather than just fight it out. Or I’m sure that every parent has decided fuck it, let the kid run around naked instead of fighting to get them dressed. If you haven’t then it’s obvious that you don’t have kids and you make me jealous because that also means you don’t have bottles.
So soon after we discovered that we would need a hospital sized sterilizing machine we decided to just wash the bottles by hand because they would accrue so fast that there is no way you could run the dishwasher 4 times a day with only 3 bottles and accessories at a time.
But sometimes life gets in the way and the bottles stack up. Maybe you go a day without washing them or maybe you find one that was stuffed in the cushions of the couch for a week without your knowledge. They stack up and soon you are asking yourself how in God’s green earth does a kid eat this much? Where the hell is she putting all this stuff? There is no way all of it is going down that gullet because if it was then she would be as big as a John Deer tractor. But she is and you are stuck with your bottles.
And so comes that moment when all the bottles are in the sink and you have no more clean bottles. This takes about a day and a half in our household and I never seem to notice it until around 8 pm at night when I’m exhausted and ready for bed. And yes, parents of children under 2 go to bed that early because we have nothing left. Sleep, once nice but was a luxury is now rarer than the pink diamond.
There comes one of those defining moments again, almost like the lesbians, that shapes your outlook and who you are. Do you A: wash the bottles so your kid can eat at 3am. B: go watch the football game and unwind. C: sleep, sweet precious sleep.
Basically, this is the moment in my life when I truly realized that I had to grow up and be the responsible adult. Sure I had played at before and maybe even gave the appearance of responsibility. I paid bills, I got married, I bought a house. But I was basically just doing what my wife told me to do and still screwed around a lot. It was great.
But now I was at the point where I had to make a conscious decision. Do I want to become that grown up and wash the bottles or do I want to be that teenager that just goes back to the couch and finishes Monday Night Football while holding my junk. The teenager mind then comes out fighting when it sees a chance to be irresponsible. It says, hey man, this ain’t no big deal. When the kid gets hungry just use a bottle you already used. I mean, what’s the big deal, it’s his spit anyway, why not? For a second you listen to this voice. Is it really a big deal? I mean, who ever heard of a child getting a disease from a once used bottle? It’s not like I’m sharing needles here man, maybe it’s not to bad.
And then you realize that you have never heard of a child getting sick from this because they are all dead. You make your choice: I am now an adult and a grown up strictly because I have a kid that forces me to. If I were single, I’d be a screw up, I have no doubt. But I’m not and someone relies on me and I am very big on not letting my kids down. Dad = Hero, that’s what I want them to always grow up knowing.
So you dive right in to the massive amount of bottles. And each one you open stinks like 2 dollar hooker crotch and the fumes burn your eyes. It’s not a pleasant job and you are a little bit disgusted that you even considered using this bottle again without washing it. So you scrub each bottle in near boiling water as you attempt to scrub away your failures. Your hands blister but this is justice and you accept it.
You make the choice to be the adult but you didn’t realize that there are benefits that come from being an adult rather than a teenager. An adult is smarter and knows the importance of multitasking. So using my adult sized brain I came up with a solution that would placate my teenager self.
Our kitchen is directly across from the living room and TV. To wash bottles I have to turn my back to the TV and I vow to one day by a TV with cable in the kitchen. But until then, I use my plan B. When it is dark outside the kitchen window is very reflective. So reflective that I can open the blinds and have the TV reflect off the window. Now I am able to wash the bottles while I watch my football. I also find that it’s nice and quiet in the house and I can do this in peace and quite, which is what all fathers really want. If you want to get your father a good present for father’s day, just be quite. That’s all. It’s free but yet priceless.
We may go back to sterilizing everything in the future but I don’t want to be that grown up yet. Give me a decade or two first.