Taizi. He hates change.
Don't we all?
He's obsessed with that bottle that he uses as a regular bottle...but don't change it!
His whole body SHAKES and jumps with excitement when he sees that bottle.
Yet...we are moving towards getting him off it.
The nutritionist is on board. As long as we get the same amount of liquid into him each day...she too wants to see that bottle gone. He's 3.5 years old. He's gone from 100% formula/rice fed through a bottle to food in his bottle...to food via syringe in his mouth...to food via SPOON and formula in his bottle to now...Operation No More Bottle.
The most amazing part of this is...he doesn't taste what he gets from his bottle. We have proven this time and time again. The top of the Haberman is so long it passes his tastebuds. We've been able to work this to his best health advantage and put things he'd NEVER swallow could he taste...in that bottle.
Now we are not only trying to remove the bottle..but he will have to taste the liquid.
We removed the valve of a regular hard-top sippy cup today and 100% of his liquid feedings were via that sippy! NO BOTTLE! He doesn't suck the cup but we are more or less pouring it onto his tongue and he opens his mouth and swallows. The first time he really freaked out but once he tasted the warm fortified formula (Boost 1.5 or Pediasure) he loved it.
The only bad part of the day...was bed time.
I think I've said before but he has this very narrow window for bed time.
You know you have passed it ... when he starts fits of hysterical laughter and we all go "uh oh". The laughter turns to screams in bed. We've missed the window.
The problem is... this window is around 6:00 pm. He doesn't fall to sleep right away but he will quietly fall to sleep on his own.
Tonight dinner was late and he didn't go down til around 7:30 or 8. He screamed like no tomorrow in his bed...we assume from wanting the bottle. His belly was full...he had the same amount of food as he did yesterday...just not the way he wanted it.
And again...my mind goes to the spiritual realm.
How we all can relate.
As our pastor says...so many of us are so content to go to church...hear solid message after message and just be...spoon fed. Open your yop...and swallow. That's all you have to do. No chewing. It's all minced up for you. No cutting...no handling a fork...put your hands down and open wide. That's it. Nice and easy.
But so many of us...never move from that stage. To the picking up your own fork stage. Opening your own Bible stage. Reading it yourself...stage. Studying it deeper stage. Being accountable and going deep...stage.
We have to be prodded. God is pushing some of us. Out where we don't want to go. We don't like the change. We looooovvvvveeee that bottle. And...we are getting food...I mean...aren't we? We are hearing the Word...being taught the Word...and we almost lull ourselves to sleep with the fact that we don't miss a gathering.
We need to grow. And in order to experience true growth we need to pick up a fork. Chew those teeth together. And USE what God has given us.
Isn't it sad that Taizi is 3.5 years old and he's never had a spoon in his mouth until now? He's never tasted food for himself? Just put it far back...where the least amount of work is required and he'll swallow it. And...survive.
Growth? Um...it hasn't been happening.
The analogy may stop there because there are more reasons that than to the lack of growth.
But Taizi captivates many of us b/c we see ourselves in him.
He fights...what is the very best for him. If only he could see ahead. He wouldn't want us to keep him on that bottle til he was 8 or 9....just one more day. One more bottle.
Oh the promises we make...for tomorrow. Well no kidding I don't intend to be in the same spot next year! But this week...? Today...? Tonight...? I'm getting fed at church. I'm getting fed at Bible study. I'm at church a few times a week...I mean...really...
Today Dean came home with Gerber baby chews. I looked at him and said "really...?" and smiled and he lit up. He said "oh I can't wait to see him use his teeth and chew! I think he'll love it!" and I again said "...really....?" and he laughed. "Well not right away he won't...but he will. Eventually...he will".
Is that what God says about us...? Give us a bigger challenge. Force us even more out of that warm cozy comfort zone ... that spiritual nest we have snuggled down into... and he made us go from bottle to spoon and we finally stopped kicking and screaming...and even...don't tell anyone...but almost...kinda...like the spoon now. But don't make me chew. Don't change me again....
Oh He wants so much more. Loves you way too much. I've known that for years. Could I fully see it before Taizi...? Maybe not. Now as a parent ... we are trying so hard to keep pushing for more. Not for us. For him.
I've been spending time with Azlan teaching him to say every syllable of his words slowly..and clearly. Today he said "this is too hard. I don't want to do it. Why do I have to try so hard...?" and I got a lump in my throat. You are right. You have to try harder than the rest of us. But you can. You can work harder...and be your best. He can't hear himself as we hear him. I said back to him exactly how he pronounced his words and he frowned..."Is that what I sounded like...?" "yes, baby...it is" and he said "oh I didn't know that". He said "people always say "where's your brother to tell me what you are saying" and I don't get it! Why they can't understand me...". :( I told him, together, we won't give up. We might have to work harder, slow down more...take more time to talk...but it's worth it. We won't give up. And then I said "just wait til you can tell Zihao someday...that you did it..and he can too!" and he smiled. "yah. that's right", he said.
It's hard pushing him for more. Helping him be better. It's so much easier to just let him stay the way he is. But we love him too much to even consider it...
You know the rest.