For the past two months, I have been handing Robbie sippy cups and he has been throwing them to the floor. In an ironic twist, I have been trying to force a big boy cup on Robbie while desperately wishing he would stay a baby just a little while longer. I’m not sure why I felt like he should be moving onto sippy cups, other than the fact that his friends were starting to make the move. It just seemed like the right thing to do, but I didn’t know how to go about it the right way. I would try to give Robbie a sippy cup and, when he refused, would give him a bottle instead. I know, novice mistake.
Bring in our appointment today with Dr. Fisher, Robbie’s pediatrician. I asked him how I could best transition Robbie from bottles to sippy cups. I’d heard a parent suggest taking away one bottle a week and replacing it with a sippy cup. Within a month, her child was totally off bottles. Zhining suggested keeping one with his toys so he could see it and play with it and use it when he wanted (a little too Montessori for me, and this approach surprised me from the Chinese parenting guru). None of these felt particularly “Erin-friendly.” And then Dr. Fisher told me his solution: “I hate that word, transition. Don’t transition. Just do it. Take away the bottles and give him sippy cups. When he’s thirsty enough, he’ll drink.” I guess he’s one of “those” doctors!
When Robbie and I got home from the doctor (one stick to the finger, one stick to the leg, and three Band-Aids later), it was nap time. I decided that since Justin was out of town, it was time for me to fight the final battle of the Sippy Cup Wars (he’s too weak and would become a casualty). I put Robbie down with a sippy cup full of milk. He cried for a little while, but he finally slept. He’d only had half an ounce of milk…
During lunch, Robbie didn’t want anything to drink. He shoved the cup away from his mouth and fussed every time I brought it near him. This is probably where Justin would have faltered and told me to just give the kid a bottle. But I would have made Dr. Fisher proud, the way I held strong.
Now, this next move was probably stupid, but I am one of “those” moms… I left the house to run errands for a few hours. All I had with me was a sippy cup of water. Please note that my son also hates to drink water. Part way through my haircut, Robbie got fussy. Really fussy. Embarrassingly so. I pulled out the only weapon in my arsenal: a sippy cup of water. And. He. Drank. It.
That’s right. Robbie drank from a sippy cup. For about five seconds. And then he started fussing again. I finally realized why when he yanked the cup out of my hands. You see, I was holding a Toy Story 3 sippy cup up to Robbie’s mouth because I didn’t want him to throw it on the floor (please picture this: I am in the chair getting my hair cut, leaning over to Robbie in his stroller – it was awkward at best). In fact, all this kid wanted was to hold his own cup.
For the rest of the day, Robbie was into his sippy cup. He drank from it in the stroller, in his car seat, on the kitchen floor, in the living room, in the bathtub, and in bed. He put it in his mouth and carried it around the house as he crawled from room to room. And, in a move that can only signify defeat, he cried when I took it away from him to fill with milk.