I test the bottle against my wrist, and the white dribble is neither scalding nor tepid. It is just right, perfect for a tender little mouth. I caught hell from the missus the first time I overheated the formula.
I take one long tired blink, and fight the yawns. Jules has nearly kicked his way out of Sharon’s expert wrappings, and his squeals are constant, his struggles furious. He latches on to the rubber teat with relish, and chugs down the white muck like a frat boy. He never liked breast-milk so much, and I think Sharon is quietly relieved that her days of swollen breasts and saturated t-shirts are over.
Jules is thriving on this new diet, and he’s growing by the day. I know there’s been some safety concerns in the past, but we’re told that the formula is perfectly safe these days. “Bottles Bring Better Babies!” says the label on the tin.
I don’t care that people on the picket-lines call us bad parents. I never try to hide the formula under my other groceries, and I don’t bother joining the online forums. Why would I want to be friends with other formula-feeders, the ones who try to keep it secret, who are ashamed of what they’re doing?
I even caught some prick trying to paint a slogan on my house, and frog-marched him out into the street at gun-point. We’ve got a dog now, and cameras. If the vandalism gets any worse, I’ll put in an application for a kill-fence.
It amazes me how judgemental people can get. There’s been a resurgence in natural methods, breast feeding and home births, all that hippie stuff that we thought dead and buried. Whenever we mention that we feed Jules on formula and formula alone, we get everything from silence to accusations. Jules’ food intake is a bone of contention between Sharon and her mum, by which I mean they scream at each other frequently.
I try to imagine the nanobots, invisible little servants suspended in that sweet warm liquid. Even now they’re flooding throughout his little body, and as Jules looks up at me with those trusting little eyes I wonder how much has changed. Are the bots already in there, working away, making his eyesight perfect? Better? His bone-density, just that little bit stronger? His brain, his heart, his muscles...
We’re just like any other parents. Who wouldn’t want to give their child the best start in life?