In Which a Baby Bottle Makes Me Ponder Life


The Man Cub will be 17 months old next week. 17 months!! I am definitely finding that time flies even faster with each child we have! I have no idea how he got to be this age already, but I do know I’m far less preoccupied with certain developmental things than I was with the girls. By this age, both girls were fully on sippy cups and had been for quite some time. I was bound and determined to follow whatever “rules” were out at the time about when to stop baby on the bottle to prevent damage or delays in speech, etc, etc.

bottle V

Photo by Nerissa's Ring

With this little guy, though, I find myself savoring his baby-ness and not wanting to rush it. And not feeling the need to bow to any sort of pressure to what they (whoever this famous they are) say my baby should be doing. Anyway.

All that to say, we’re working on transitioning the Man Cub from his bottle to cups. And in true Man Cub fashion, he is having none of it. He will even go so far as to hold the spout in his mouth and just sit there. He’ll do it for hours. And just refuse. to. drink. (yes, he is this stubborn with just about everything, God help me) 

I’m perfectly willing, and able, to ride out his defiance because I know eventually he’s going to get hungry and/or thirsty enough to drink his beloved milk (and when I say beloved, I mean be-love-ed. This kid could write a Song of Soloman-esque ode to his milk. That is, if he could write). The problem is, his refusal to change the manner in which he receives said milky-goodness starts a chain reaction of magnanimous proportions.

First of all, he stays hungry. Although he’s just had a well rounded meal, the milk serves to top him up, and keep him satiated either until the next snack/meal, or through the night. If he’s hungry, he doesn’t sleep. If he doesn’t sleep, he misses out on the 2 hours of rest and renewal he usually gets during the day. Thus, he’s overtired at nighttime and has trouble falling asleep. The overtired and the hunger converge to produce a baby waking far earlier in the day than is prudent, so said baby is even more tired. Vicious cycle. Add to the sleep deprivation and hunger, extreme fussiness and manic-depressive-style mood swings that would make Sybil nervous.

Not only is he having to weather through all of these crazy behaviors, feelings and changes he doesn’t understand and hasn’t the foggiest idea how to deal with, the rest of the family (and western world, if we’re brave enough to venture a journey to the coffee shop or grocery store) must also deal with said meltdowns, crazy-weird love-hate displays of affection-disdain, and general chaotic aftermath of a simple refusal to drink an eight ounce cup of milk. Not to mention the physical ramifications of missing out on vital nutrients and health benefits.

Today, as my frustration mounted and my patience waned as we engaged in the hunger induced naptime battle, I felt a slight nudging in my spirit. How do I react when God hands me something new; unknown? Whatever the new habit, situation, lifestyle change, attitude adjustment, all it really is, is a more mature vehicle for inserting the grace, peace, encouragement and love of Christ into my spiritual body.

I fight and thrash and might even hold it in my hand but refuse to fully ingest said change because it’s not what I’m used to. Not what I’m comfortable with. I refuse the warming comfort of the complete integration of the Creator of the Universe into my own heart because of the manner in which He is offering it to me. 

Not only that, my spiritual health suffers. I miss out on vital elements needed to sustain, strengthen, and grow my own heart, and mind. My attitude suffers. I grump. Complain. Love. Hate. I become a spiritual schizophrenic because I’m left reeling from the lack of spiritual food. All because I want to stick with what I know; what I like.

The really crazy thing is, my son reacted the same way the first time I offered him a bottle. It took him five days to finally drink a full bottle. And now look how he loves it! And doesn’t the same thing happen in our walk with Christ? The very thing we fight against becomes our most beloved facet of our relationship with him?

So I submit to you today the same question I’m asking myself: what is “the bottle” in your life? What is it that you know in your heart of hearts needs to change, or be gone altogether, that you just aren’t willing to consider giving up because it’s just too comfortable? And are you willing to risk letting it go in order to take the next step towards maturity in Him?

I’m linking up with Your Thriving Family, The Better Mom, The Miss Elaine-ous Life, These Five of Mine Plus Two, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Write It, Girl, Raising Homemakers, Some Girl’s Website

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Posted on March 9, 2012, in Faith, Family, Life Lessons and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Leigh Ann @ Intentional By Grace

    Isn’t it amazing how much our kids end up teaching us? What a thought-provoking post. And just so you know. It’s a boy thing. Even with a boy who drinks his milk and eats his food, he still stays hungry all.the.time. Before I had him, I wasn’t going to feed him a bunch of grains. BUT now? I give him at least three pieces of bread a meal just.to.fill.him.up. Hang in there!! I will be praying for you and your strong willed boy!

    • Thank you, Leigh Ann!! And, yes, even when he was drinking his milk, this kid would eat all day if I let him. Specifically carbs and starchy stuff. He loves rich tea biscuits, which are kind of like denser graham crackers. He’d eat an entire package a day if I let him. Before lunch! ha!

  2. Sarah Koci Scheilz

    Such conviction in this analogy, friend. I can come up with a whole collection of “bottles” in my own spiritual life! Wonderful food for thought and fodder for prayer.

  3. I found your blog from these five of mine and this post really resonated with me. Just before reading this I was thinking how much my husband had irritated me last nite before bed. I was thinking why does he irritate me so and for the first time I had the thought ‘you know maybe you are just jealous of his calm, slow, unanxious demeanor. Maybe he is onto something you should try…..slowing down’. So my bottle at this moment is letting go of the reigns….just a little…and enjoying the moments. Thanks for you post!

  4. Wow, that is a lot to think about. Thanks for planting the seed, my friend.

    Just lovely post…

  5. Wow, what a great insight and a great question. Thought provoking, stopping by from Miss Elaineous Monday.

  6. Oh I’m full of bottles it seems. God’s been showing them to me regularly as I’ve been asking Him to this Lenten season. And I’m with your son–it’s not fun!
    wonderful post. Thanks for linking it up to Write It, Girl!
    All for Him,
    Nikki

  7. I think I know what my “bottle” is…and I don’t want to let it go. But the Lord has been weaning me off for over a month now and he is proving that he is more than enough.

    It’s hardest for me to let go of a good thing, but sometimes we have to let even the good thing go when he’s wanting to give us an even better thing. I’m trusting he has a plan that I just can’t see yet…

    Thanks for this.

    • Oh man, it’s always so much harder when it’s truly a GOOD thing zhe is asking us to give up! I have to remind myself that His good is always Best! Well done for following through!

  8. First…I’m still babying my last one and he’s 4 1/2 years old! He’s off the bottle ;) but, I still hate to see him growing up so quickly.

    In fact, “letting them go” may just be one of the bottles in my life. I need to let my teenage son go and let God do a work in him…but I find it difficult. Why? God loves him even more than I. Thank you for letting me see that.

    The older we get, the more willing we are to try new things. Could it be possible in the Christian walk? I think so…I’m willing to trust my Lord more now than I was many years ago – though I could increase my faith so much more!

    • Oh, yes, I have the same bottle!! The hubs is far better then I am at letting the, trench their wings. I feel very much the sentiment that my heart is walking around outside my body in 3 pieces. :)

  9. Just weaned my twelfth, which was much harder to do when there’s not already another baby on the way. Am pondering the changes ahead for me as my child-bearing years are most likely winding to a close. Your post is a good reminder of God’s wisdom and goodness. For everything there is a season. Thanks for the reminder.

    • First of all, I tip my mommy hat to you!! What an amazing time for your family. Praying a smooth transition, and unexpected, unspeakable joy for you in this next season of motherhood!

  10. Excellent comparison! When i weaned each of my children we had a similar experience. It’s tough stuff to be sure! I had never thought about it with the spiritual implications you just shared! Thank you for a fresh perspective!

  11. Oh, wow. What a post – you’ve given me a lot to think about.

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