Thoughts from the Ladder

At work yesterday, I was up on the ladder down-filling the stock, which is exactly what it sounds like, and my mind got to working. This was, of course, early enough in the day that my brain had not yet gone blank with exhaustion. So I was moving pacifiers, bottles and sippy-cups on down the wall, and I was thinking about life and plastic.

I’m not going to get into the chemical stuff, though that question has come up quite a lot in my first few shifts at the store. What I was thinking about in the feeding room yesterday was my own childhood and my kid, and how the whole “sippy” thing has exploded.

Because we have half a wall of sippy-cups. All shapes, sizes and colors. We stock cups that snap together with snack bowls, packs of cheap disposable ones, stainless steel and those that convert from bottle on up. We have sippy caps that screw onto standard size, vending machine drink bottles (I’m thinking water and juice, though I’m sure they screw right onto soda bottles just as nicely), and handles sold separately that can make the regular bottle into one that’s easier on little hands.

Back in my day, we had brightly colored plastic cups that had one type of translucent snap-on lid. And the ones with weighted round bottoms that rolled around a little but rarely spilled. Over the months or years of use, the sippy spouts became chewed and ragged. They had no valves or other fancy technology to prevent the spillage of water, milk or juice. And spill we did. But it worked, and it wasn’t long before we could be trusted with regular cups. Which also spilled on occasion, I’m sure.

I had a customer ask me the other day for a sippy cup that wasn’t spill-proof. He left my department empty handed. Because I couldn’t find one sippy without the fancy valve. Not one brand, including the “Take and Toss,” had forgone the “no-drip” feature. He got me thinking that to take away the ability to spill might deprive us of a teaching opportunity and our kids of a learning opportunity, even if it means having to wipe up a few drips and dribbles along the way. If once cannot spill by tipping over a cup full of liquid, one must find an alternative method of learning that certain actions carry with them certain consequences. I suppose that’s where Baby Einstein comes into play.

As I looked at package after package of sippy-cups, I also wondered when I should get one for my kid. Some of these had age recommendations from 3 months up. When I asked my manager about the appropriate “sippy-cup age,” she answered that the sippy cup is often used as a transition away from the bottle and yes, as early as 3 months. But as with pretty much every step involved in raising small children, the timing varies. I actually think M would get a kick out of a new cup, especially something neat looking that was designed with the intention of him sucking on it and drinking from it. He’s fascinated by every glass, mug and water bottle that we have used in our house, so why not? I guess I never really thought of the sippy going with breast milk (or formula if that’s the way you roll), and that’s all that M is drinking right now. But I suppose there’s no reason it can’t serve that purpose.

In conclusion, I guess I just found myself a little overwhelmed by all the options that a parent has when it comes to feeding their baby and/or toddler. It would probably allow me to better recommend stuff if I end up using one or several of these bottles, pacifiers, sippys, teethers, etc. And since he already has no interest in a pacifier and rarely drinks from a bottle, perhaps a sippy-cup is the next logical purchase.

I’m not sure why I’m over thinking all of this, but I am sure that this post about my disjointed thoughts on the subject is getting lengthy and dull. I’m even starting to bore myself, over here. But I guess that’s how it goes sometimes when everything’s just going along as it should be.

Our new washing machine was delivered this afternoon. The baby is happy, and the husband is home. I’ve been reading a book that has nothing to do with how to take care of a baby or raise a child (I’m swearing those off for awhile, I think). We made our reservations for our May flight to Milwaukee, and I ordered a new swimsuit. Besides the sippy-cups, there’s not a whole lot on my mind at the moment. And you know what? I’m good with that.

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One thought on “Thoughts from the Ladder

  1. elise says:

    Hi – I can definitely relate. We’ve solved the unspillable cup problem by removing the valve (round clear plastic part) from the “sippy” part of it, so liquids can come out. I resisted the Sippy-cup, so of course my 3 yo became obsessed w/ them, and eventually i got one…

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