This past weekend my nine-month-old decided he was done with formula, bottles, and nipples of any kind. Done. As in nada. As in freak-out-Mama time.
In Luke’s defense, he’s cutting five top teeth at the same time and he is m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. My pediatrician has hope that when all the teeth are in Luke might return to his formula-sucking bottle-loving self. But he may not.
I’ve spent the past five days trying to teach my baby how to drink water out of a sippy cup, and syringing water into his mouth throughout the day so he doesn’t get dehydrated. I’ve been upping his babyfood intake with fat, iron and calcium rich foods to make up for the formula deficit.
I must admit, I thought Luke was being entirely unfair with pulling this fast one on his Mama. He had already given up breastfeeding emphatically and completely, so in my mind refusing formula and bottles on top of all the nursing stress he’s caused me seemed cruel and unusual mommy punishment. Just kidding. (Sort of.)
This week I’m learning in new ways to “roll with it” when it comes to mothering different children through different developmental stages. I guess because my eldest never gave me any bottle/formula/milk trouble, I expected my second baby bear to act/react the same way. Ha! I can almost hear more seasoned mothers chuckling at my naivete.
I guess motherhood is, in some ways, an extended life lesson in learning to “roll with it” through the ups and downs of life. I can only imagine what crazy ways my bear cubs will perpetually help me learn to chill and roll with what may come. I’ll probably look back on my milk teetotaling baby and think “Gee whiz if only my mothering struggles were that EASY right now!”
As I was giving the boys their bath last night, and mentally berating Luke for all the feeding/nutrition angst he’s caused me this week, an image of Mary in the movie The Passion, came vividly to mind.
Now SHE is a mother who had to “roll with it” if anyone ever did. Regardless of the fact Mary was full of grace and favor, she still was a completely human mother, and she still had countless shocking, puzzling, scary, difficult, exasperating circumstances to deal with in her motherhood. Example #394743: Her 12-year-old “gets lost” in the metropolis of Jerusalem while she and her husband were leaving the city. THAT would exasperate me a lot more than a baby who gives up all forms of liquid sustenance.
So today I’m reminded to ask for Mary’s help in my own motherhood. She can help me figure out how to properly feed and care for my teeth-cutting little man. And she can inspire me to be calm and chill with whatever I face in my motherhood. After all, she really, truly deeply knows how to roll with it.
(Prayers welcome for this little one!)