Babies drink an insane amount of milk. I know this because I’m a grown-up. My two lads, now 14 months old, each knock back three bottles of bovine juice a day, sometimes more if they can get away with it. So let’s say that’s 24 ounces per day, per baby (about 700 milliliters for those of you who have graduated to the age of science). Roughly speaking, we are churning through 48 ounces of milk (1.5 liters) per day to satisfy the appetites of our twin boys. At present, each baby drinks his weight in milk every 16 days. And I’ve got two of the little udder-leaches to feed.
In the beginning, life was simple. If a baby was hungry, I gave him to his mama. Basically, mama was feeding babies all the time. She then started pumping so that I could help out on the feeding front. This made her truly empathize with dairy cows. After a while, demand was out-sipping supply and we had to supplement with formula. Whereas our daughter had nursed until somewhere in month 13, the boys seemed to divide this time between them and decided they were done at 7 months. I was personally offended by this unilateral and infantile behavior, as I knew it meant more work for me.
Naturally, with so much effort required to source formula, make bottles, and feed babies, I was eager for them to kick the powder habit and move to whole milk. Only after that transition did I realize the error of my ways. Now I spend my days shopping for milk, making bottles, and feeding babies.
If I want to feed them over-priced, organic milk, I need to buy three little cartons a day. Sure, I could get it delivered and take 21 at a time, but that’s not terribly convenient if I want to put anything else in the refrigerator. Back in the USA (motto: we do milk bigger here), I could simply buy a gallon (3.78 liters) of milk and be done for the week. Unfortunately, in Beijing the closest I can get to a gallon container is three single liter cartons.
And that’s whole milk. Girl-child drinks 2 percent milk, so I need to pick up a carton of that a week for her cereal and the odd half-cup of she drinks. So I’m schlepping four or five liters of milk home a week and I tend to walk or ride a scooter (the kind you kick to propel) when I go to the grocery store, so those bags are heavy.
All this has led me to a brilliant solution – we need to buy a dairy cow. I figure we can pick up one of those new hybrid models, where two udders deliver whole milk, one supplies 2 percent, another soy (for me), and maybe an additional one for chocolate milk. The beauty of this approach is that when the boys are thirsty, they don’t have to share an udder. It will also reduce the number of wasted cartons, save trips to the store, and supply the neighborhood gardens with much-needed organic fertilizer. Frankly, I can’t see a downside to this solution. If you’ll excuse me, I need to get on Taobao.
Photo courtesy of bluewaikiki.com (Flickr)