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From The Good Ol' Days





The advent last week of my long-awaited grandson -- Benjamin Peter Tapishar Singh-Kareckas, 8 lbs, 4 oz -- triggered a number of my own childhood memories for me.

One that surfaced on a lazy morning, as I basked in my newly elevated status of Naana, was of an odd-looking milk-bottle I was fed with when I was a baby.

[My memory for ancient and utterly useless things remains quite sharp.]

So, on a whim, I searched the internet and actually found an antique which matched my memory, thus confirming that my brain wasn't ready to retire .... yet!

I’ve reproduced here a photo of a feeding bottle exactly like the one I had used for personal sustenance in the days of yore. I have looked at it long and hard and scratched my head pondering over the same pesky questions that I’m sure are bubbling up in your mind.

After a lot of thought, here are some observations that have welled up in mine.

Mercifully, in the intervening years, someone really, really bright has finally figured out -- after immense research, I'm sure -- that:

a)  A flat bottom would allow the bloody thing to stand stable and upright on its own on a table, without dripping.

b)  It was not necessary to have two outlets ... unless you had delivered twins.

c)  Having two nipples doesn’t fool the baby one bit that he’s with his mother.

d)  Using plastic instead of thick, bullet-proof glass, would be kinder to the child who ultimately had to bear its weight.

e)  Making it smaller, so as to carry milk by the ounce rather than by the pound, would also endear you to your child.

I mentioned my discovery to my daughter and son-in-law yesterday.

Their immediate response was:

“You found it in the a-n-t-i-q-u-e pages, you say?”

Trust the harsh truth to come out of the mouth of babes!

I’d forgotten … I was now a Naana.


November 24, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Baljit Kaur (Leeds, United Kingdom), November 24, 2014, 6:08 AM.

That's the funniest baby announcement I've ever read. Welcome back, Sher ji, on The Daily Fix -- you were sorely missed. And ... heartiest Congratulations on your new Naanahood! Lots of love and blessings to the baby and his parents.

2: Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), November 24, 2014, 7:56 AM.

The feeding bottle of the golden age, with double end to end outlets, was designed as such to satisfy the dual demands of the principle of Physics (involving sucking) as well as human nature which likes change. Sucking from one outlet demands air to gush in from the other end, thus making it easier for the kiddo to suck. And when kiddo gets bored with sucking from the nipple at one end, then by rotating the bottle, kiddo is made to perceive something new has been introduced into his/her mouth, thus satisfying human nature to always look for and enjoy change ... I would like to read other theories on this most interesting and extremely important topic.

3: Karanbir Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), November 24, 2014, 11:12 AM.

Hilarious! Loved your fantastic analyses, Sher Singh ji, and also enjoyed your scientific explanations, Dr Ahluwalia -- which I believe are indeed correct. Wishing the baby the very best!

4: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), November 24, 2014, 11:28 AM.

Thanks, Naana Sher Singh ji, for this nostalgic trip. OMG -- that ubiquitous unbreakable glass bottle shaped like a breast that came with no less than two nipples for the baby to hold one with its tiny new hands and suck the other one with blissful closed eyes. Sher, you forgot another mandatory addition: The famous Woodward's Gripe Water, the panacea for all baby's ills, such as colic and gastrointestinal ails that came complete with sound affects emitted from the baby's aft. That Gripe Water was heavenly. I remember stealing a deep swig at every opportunity, even as 5 years old. I am sure a picture of the bottle with a fat baby can be found. More baby stories later on, as in the meantime I'm trying to find at least an empty bottle.

5: Raj (Canada), November 24, 2014, 11:04 PM.

OMG, I remember breaking many of them. Shamefully, I used them till I was about three. I get strange looks from my wife and children when I tell them, I used to run around with these things in my mouth, sometimes with no pants.:-)

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