Monday, March 31, 2008

Poor Beethoven!

I was wrong when I said Mozart and Beethoven (squirrels) were both eating solid foods. Mozart is. On closer observation, he's the only one of the two. Beethoven still won't even take his formula from a bowl. He still insists on being hand fed. Jumps into my hand every time I come near, asking to be fed. All weekend I tried taking the "tough love" approach: let him learn to eat solids or go hungry! Well, fortunately, tough love is hard for me, and I gave in now and then and fed him, albeit with diluted formula.

Today I had a ridiculous thought: what if he still doesn't have his top teeth? NAW! I hadn't even bothered checking, the idea was so outlandish. A big squirrel like Beethoven! But I stuck my finger in his mouth to check anyway, because the poor baby was all skin and bones, and -- no top teeth! Just two hard little bumps where they have barely begun to come in.

I cried. It was that kind of a day anyway. I woke up crying -- and thinking if only I could just get back to feeling snarky that would be great progress. I cried over Beethoven and asked his forgiveness. I promised him I'd hand-feed him all his life if that's what he wanted.

I've added peanut butter to his formula now (along with the usual baby cereal and applesauce), for the extra calories, and he's eating like a little pig. He'll be nice and fat in a few days.

And one day, he won't want to be bottle-fed any more, and another day I will release him after all and he will like it much better, living the way God intended him to, instead of in a cage.