| Family Farce: Purim 5783 |

Words Unspoken — An Open Letter to My Parents Regarding My Feeding Schedule from Your Three-Month-Old Firstborn

We forgot to weigh him. Daddy! How would you like it if I weighed you before and after the shul kiddush?


First, I really do appreciate that you brought me into This World, but I’ll save that for my bar mitzvah speech because right now I’m too uncomfortable to be thankful for anything other than Infant Mylicon and gripe water. But in the interest of saving you two hundred dollars on yet another 20 different baby bottles with specialized features to help me eat, after some reflection and oral consultation with my toes, I am sharing this information with you in an open letter to the world.

When I start screaming bloody murder completely out of the blue, it’s because I am hungry NOW. Not two seconds ago when you first offered the bottle, and not 30 seconds after you FINALLY started feeding me, once I noticed the glint of the crystals on the light fixture and lost interest. So when you hear that bloodcurdling scream, you need to come RIGHT AWAY. Enough with the excuses about warming up the milk, waking up Mommy from her nap (who sleeps in the middle of the day for that long? I certainly don’t), or the formula shortages; I AM STARVING! And while we’re on that topic — what’s with the obsession with eliminating my nighttime feeding? You know as well as I do that Tatty goes for the midnight snack. Why am I different? There’s not a formula crisis; there’s a middos crisis, that’s what there is.

And then comes the drama after the feeding. The State of the Union is in shambles, Chinese balloons are traversing the country, climate change is looming over us as we speak; frankly, I’m embarrassed that my very own parents have nothing better to discuss other than the air in my digestive tract. All the coaxing, back-pounding — He burped! Now, okay, now hold him upright for 20 minutes. TWENTY MINUTES??!! I WANT TO SLEEP! How would you like it to be forced to stand for 20 minutes after each meal?! Guess what? I’ll make you stand! I’ll refuse to eat next time unless you’re standing only, holding me toward my left side at a forty-seven-point-three degree angle. And then — oh no, Srulik, we forgot to weigh him. Daddy! How would you like it if I weighed you before and after the shul kiddush, and I know Mommy hid her bathroom scale to avoid checking every four hours if any more baby weight came off. NO FAIR!

For the record, that burp you heard actually was the pipes, and THAT was why I was up all night screaming; it had nothing to do with colic, I was just dealing with a festering air bubble that was getting bigger and bigger each time you rocked me. Mommy? I appreciate that you went off dairy for me, I really do, but it’s actually the mushrooms you add to your omelet every single morning that I have issues with. And the beets you add to your salad, and the green tea you drink three times a day because you read it would boost my brainpower (by the way: I got Wordle in three last night while you fell asleep), and the chicken that touched the green peas on your plate. And even the Magic Hold doesn’t help if there’s cholent within a two-mile radius. But the real barf-fest? It comes from the cellulose additive in your postnatal multivitamin. Ha! You would never have guessed that, not in a million years.

They tell me it gets better, once I start eating solids. I’m counting down the days till I hit six months, and I know that Mommy already has a menu planned for when I can start eating real food, even cashing in her trust fund to pay for all the organic produce that’ll be added to the shopping list. And you’d better start with the fruits, even though we’re not supposed to; I have a strong feeling I’ll have issues with anything green. I know Daddy is planning to sneak me bite-sized pieces of the good stuff, like kishke and something called seven-layer-cake; he told me he’ll look out for me until I’m two years old and can start throwing proper tantrums to get the food that has more than three ingredients listed. He even tipped me off on how to spot SUGAR as one of the top two, and before bedtime, we practice reading labels instead of Goodnight Moon.

Until then, I guess I’ll just have bitachon that it’ll get better. I’m good at that, I know.

That’s why you call me Old Faithful, after all.


Your Son


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 833)

Oops! We could not locate your form.