You think that after six kids, the seventh child would be familiar, if not easier. Seasoned pros like us have seen it all, right?
Unlike many babies before, I had plenty of milk to nurse Finn with. More than I’d ever had in the past. But Finn enjoyed a full belly. He always got a bottle in the evening, just to give me a break from All The Eating.
The older he got, he certainly got bigger. So much so, that the pediatrician told me I could lay off a feeding or to. But Finn didn’t think that suited him as much. So I pushed on, determined to nurse him until he was one. And I did. But it was less like nursing and more like Active Wrestling. He’d willingly eat, but he would also hit me, smacking me right in the sternum, over and over again. He was restless and wiggly.
He was also a cranky little guy. We weren’t exactly sure he liked us very much. For a breastfed baby, he was pretty unattached. I mean, he liked his mama, but he hated to cuddle, would never rest his head on anyone, and was generally angry. Honestly, I worried a bit.
But then we quit nursing and I decided to give him a few extra bottles to help him adjust. And when I switched the bottle to “fast flow,” our whole world changed. He crossed his feet (a sure sign he was happy), nuzzled right in, and turned into a HAPPY bouncing boy.
It is a great mystery to us all.
He still isn’t much of a cuddler, but first thing in the morning, I steam his milk (he leads a life of leisure, what can I say?) and settle in my bed. I curl up around him while he snuggles in tight and sucks down his breakfast. Sometimes when he is done, he’ll fling his arm up and feel my face a bit or he’ll roll over and let me tickle his back. And if Andrew is there, as is his custom, he’ll go visit, poking him in the eye or smacking him in the head until Andrew responds.
The longer we’ve done the bottle routine – and, can you blame you me if I’m not willing to give up my newfound cuddles or happy baby? – the more “quirks” Finn has developed about the process.
He only takes a bottle from me. Period. Non-negotiable. Our babysitter doesn’t even try any more.
He must have his pacifier accessible. He holds his bottle in one hand and his paci in the other so he can play with it while he eats. If his paci is missing, the bottle doesn’t get eaten.
Every bottle tastes better if his feet are crossed.
I don’t know how much longer I will get to enjoy this little bit of bliss. Already Finn will occasionally refuse one of his bottles during the day. So I needed to write down these little particulars for me to savor later. And to shake my head in wonder at. Who would have thought #7 would break the mold?