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.
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?