Thankfully, we live in a time and place where bottle feeding is an option. So that brings up an important question that, I'll admit, I've through from time-to-time. "What does a baby think when they’re using a bottle?" I’m assuming they’re happy to be fed, but beyond that, I can’t be too sure. Are they content? Are they fulfilled? Are they pondering the mysteries of the universe? Are they craning to see what episode of Battlestar Galactica I’m re-watching? We may never know for certain, but we can certainly speculate because, well, what else are we going to do when we feed our babies? I mean, it's some great bonding time but, let's be real, feeding time can also be pretty damn boring.
In the earliest days of my parenting, I remember feeling bemused by the new vocabulary that was making it’s way into my speech. Words like "swaddle" and "bilirubin" and "latch," were a focal point of almost every conversation I had. Of those now common words, "latch" probably comes with the most complicated set of associated, for me and to this day. I had breastfeeding problems and I had to turn to bottles and I had to do both feeling stressed and exhausted and emotional.
My son, however, was pretty chill about both and either, as long as he was getting fed. While I often looked at him longingly, wishing I could be as stress-free as he was, his calm provided me with this fun ability to imagine what was going through his mind at certain times when I needed to get out of my own. Specifically, times when he was feeding from a bottle. Here’s what I mean:
"You Can’t Fool Me"
He's like, "Nice try, Mom. You're trying to make me think that this is some kind of fancy boob, but I know the truth."
"I Totally Know The Difference..."
"Just because it didn't come out of your shirt, doesn't mean it's not a boob of some kind. This is just a trick, right?"
"...But I Don't Care"
Seriously though, my son was definitely cool either way. He'll take that liquid gold whenever and however it comes.
"OK, But I Didn’t Know That People Who Weren’t My Mom Could Feed Me"
Fair point, little man. Actually, anyone with a bottle can feed you. I'm glad we've had this talk.
"Now There Are No Excuses. There's Always Milk For Me"
Oh, um, I can see how you might think that, but it's a little more complicated than that, especially considering that fact that you're drinking milk that's been pumped.
"Here, I Can Do It"
I totally respect your efforts right now, but we're going to need to work on your hand-eye coordination before we go any further. Nice try, though, and I mean that.
"So What Else Goes In Here?"
Just milk. Nothing else. Please, don't get any ideas. I'm not ready for that. Wait, did I say, "I"? I meant "you."
"Can We Speed This Up?"
Oh, I'm sorry, did you have other things to do? Diapers to fill, pajamas to spit up onto, mats to lay on? We better get a move on it.
"Can You Please Adjust My Angle? I'd Like To Be Seated Closer To 45 Degrees, Please."
Actually, um, yes, thanks for reminding me. The doctor said something about certain angles affecting a baby's reflux.
"Want To See How Fast I Can Drink?"
As much as I appreciated my son's attempt at politeness (I'm assuming?) we both know he's just asking for show. He's going to show me no matter what my answer is.
"I See What You're Watching. You Do You, Mom."
Someday, my child, you'll understand the appeal of endless Netflix watching. For now, however, I'm simply going to bask in your innocence.