When the boy was dropping in percentiles a while back, the good doctors added formula to his diet. It was a small grief, especially for the wife. I still can’t understand what the doctor said about the relationships between milk production, the baby’s needs, and the baby’s hunger. I was in a cloud when the variables of stress and life came into the picture. Who knew that producing milk didn’t just happen no matter what happened around you and to you. Nonetheless, that was Dawn’s part of the story.
Formula. First of all, did you know that just about every formula on the market is only good for an hour, if the kid has started to drink? Yes, you can mix it and refrigerate it for 24 hours, but if the baby sucks once, you’re on an hour clock. I really want somebody smart to create a formula that a father can give to a kid after an hour. Why in the world would all these scientists and dieticians and pediatricians not have a powdery recipe that can keep for longer than an hour? Beyond me.
Anyhow, since then, we switched his formula to something else, only to switch it back to the original formula. We got upset and nervous, like most first-timers. I was in the aisle at Babies R Us reading the little white chart, comparing vitamin D and vitamin A levels between three types of food. Dawn was searching online. We read comments on BabyCenter. We scanned the cheat sheets we get from the doctor. We rehearsed what the doctor said the one time we brought up switching formula, even though we never brought up switching back and whether it would hurt the little guy’s stomach. Nothing went wrong.
It’s so easy to caught into a whirlwind of worry. Here is this little person. He’s cute. He’s noisy sometimes. But he relies on you for food. Think of that. He cannot eat unless we feed him.
And what he eats matters. It influences so many deep things that I can’t understand. Sure, I get that he has to gain weight. But if he doesn’t get enough vitamin whatever, who knows what happens.
It’s interesting that as parents–and yes, early on in the boy’s life–we’re hyper concerned and sensitive. But I wonder when we’ll stop caring. I wonder when we’ll be less concerned and when that less concern will eventuate into “Oh, he’ll ate whatever.” I wonder when I’ll become that parent who gives their kid the wrong thing–and there are wrong things–because it’s okay and because he’ll be fine and because I grew up eating it and because every other kid eats it and because that’s what was available and you get the picture. I’m sure it’ll come as soon as is practical, but there’s something splendid about being so concerned to get things right. There’s something so precise and special and freeing about looking at labels and being guided to giving the boy the good or right or, at least, recommended food.