As she gulps and guzzles, a smidgen of milk dribbles out of the corner of her mouth and runs toward her left ear. I dab at it with her bib in an attempt to keep her from ending up with milk curds in the folds of her neck.
She makes little snorty noises through her nose as she tries to keep up with the flow of the bottle. She breaks off her latch on the nipple and gasps. Then latches right back on for more. Little bubbles come to the surface of her milk as the creamy liquid disappears.
Her sweet little lips are splayed across the top of the bottle, working rhythmically to drain the milk. Her upper lip is folded back, almost covering her nostrils, but she manages to breath and drink in a tempo of her own.
Her eyes are fastened on mine. She stares at me with intense focus as if daring me to pull the nipple from between her pursed lips. The suction she has created makes this nearly impossible, of course.
She loves her milk.
Her mommy's milk.
I breastfed my babies and so this is my first experience with heating, handling and holding bottles. It has been a curious adventure, to say the least!
Who knew that it took so long to heat a bottle in a mug of hot water? All the while the hungry baby grunts and tries to fit both her fists in her teeny-tiny mouth ... "Uhm ... I'm hungry! Hello!"
Who knew that there was an upside to a bottle? Poor little peanut spent fifteen minutes sucking on a bottle with the air vent in the wrong place ... "Who put this lady in charge?!? She doesn't even know how to work this thing!!"
Who know that there was a two degree window of optimum temperature? My persnickety little friend prefers her milk at a delicious temperature of 98.6. Of course. "You expect me to drink that? It's far too cold ... at most it's 96.2 degrees."
But back to her passion for eating ...
This little baby is a foodie of the liquid diet! When she's hungry, there is no distracting her. She will follow the hand that holds the bottle - her eyes wide with anticipation, her hands fumbling with excitement, her feet kicking with expectancy. And for good reason.
This milk is her only sustenance. And miraculously it meets every one of her nutritional needs. This connection that God created between a mother and her baby is still a marvelous mystery to me.
This milk is so treasured that the apostle Peter used it as an illustration in his first letter to the churches of Galatia, Asia and beyond. He compares this valuable milk to the teaching of the Bible:
2 Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. (1 Peter 2:2-3)
When we hunger after the righteousness found in God's Word and consume His instructions - digesting the truth found there and allowing our hearts to process it - we grow and mature in our salvation. We develop spiritually and put aside the selfishness and sin that stunts our growth.
Of course we can't just settle for milk. Eventually we have to move on to meatier and more substantial spiritual food. But the milk of the Word is still the building block of our soul's nutrition and nourishment.
So don't be bashful ... just like Baby S, get into the Bible and guzzle it up! It does the body (and soul) good!
Day 1: Mom in the Midst
Day 2: My Button is Lame
Day 3: Splendidly Lavish
Day 4: Keeping My Head Above Water
Day 6: Me, Myself & I
Day 7: Food For Though ~ Bacon