The smile still haunts me.
It's been twenty years, but the feelings are just as raw as they were at that moment.
What did I do? Oh the cry is heart wrenching! Sweet baby, I didn't mean to hurt you. I love you so much, I would never hurt you. But here you are in my arms, screaming, red from head to toe, and I have no idea how to stop it. I'm scared. Do you hate me now? Oh Lord stop the pain!
All I did was give her a bath. Simple little motherly act. Should have been a moment of loving fun.
The smile on that bottle still haunts me.
In my head I know it wasn't my fault. In my head, I blame the manufacturer for using some stupid chemical that my baby had a bad reaction to. But in my heart, still after all these years, I blame myself.
The bottle was a gift. Cute smiling head on the top of a bottle of baby wash. It mocks me, that smile.
Yes, it was the worst gift I ever received.