Lincoln's pediatrician told us before we moved to Tucson, that with the adjustment to the heat here, Lincoln might be wanting to nurse quite a bit more often so as to keep from dehydrating.
I won't go it to all the details, but suffice it to say that that has turned out to be a very true statement.
He told me that I might want to consider giving him a little Pedialyte each day to assist in keeping him hydrated. So, on the 4th of July we tried some out. But Lincoln was not amused with the experience. He certainly wasn't pleased with the flavor (strawberry), and after tasting a bit myself I could see why - the stuff tastes disgusting. And, not only was I trying to make my baby drink cough syrup - a would be traumatic event for any child - I was serving it to him in a bottle. And after over 4 months of life, never having had a bottle to his lips the experience was confusing at best.
I decided before we try Pedialyte again (in a different flavor next time), that we should get him at least somewhat familiar with a bottle. So yesterday I pumped a couple ounces and let Squire have his first go at feeding his son. Lincoln received it pretty well. Though he seemed a bit confused as he looked from bottle to me, to me to dad, to his bottle again. The taste was familiar to him, but the experience was certainly not.
You know something? I really didn't like my baby drinking out of a bottle. For about 2 seconds as Squire was feeding Lincoln, I thought, "Oh! How sweet!" And then just as quickly my thoughts turned to indignation. I felt irritated and a little vulnerable as I watched my baby being nourished from a source outside myself. "I don't like this. I don't like that bottle," I kept telling Squire. Though the bottle was supplying nourishment provided by me, he wasn't getting it from me. I was happy to accommodate Lincoln's cries for me when he decided that instead of finishing all the milk from the plastic that he preferred me to nurse him for the rest of his feeding.
I thought quite a bit about this silly(?) incident yesterday. At church, the lesson was on the roles of mothers, fathers, and children in the family. Through pondering over this isolated experience of mine, I came to the deeper general conclusion that the responsibilities of motherhood were never meant to be passed off to others.
No, I don't think it would be the end of the world if my son drank my breast milk from a bottle every now and then. And, I certainly don't believe that I should be the only source of nourishment and knowledge for my child throughout the course of his life. As his mother, am I not raising my son to become a secure, happy, independent adult? I am.
But we have time to get to independence. And in the time my little baby is in my care, I have the sacred calling to be his primary nurturer. I know it isn't politically correct to say this, but I believe it still the same. In our modern world we have forgotten that before the the advent of man-made formula and breast pumps, babies needed their mothers to survive. And, this small experience I had yesterday reminded me yet again, that despite (and in spite!) of the advent of modern ideals and technology - babies still need their mothers.