When Babykins was about 15-months old, I had this insane idea to teach her how to drink out of a regular cup. She hadn’t shown any interest in giving up her sippy cup but I felt she should learn sooner rather than later. After all, some toddlers her age were pros at drinking out of regular cups and cups were better for oral development. Additionally, I had started teaching one of my nanny kiddos around that age how to use a regular cup, so why shouldn’t I teach my own child?
Babykins was more than happy to try the regular cup, but every meal quickly became a milk bath for her. It was messy, frustrating, and tiring. We returned to the sippy cups. I would think about regular cups every once in awhile and feel a little guilty about not pushing them more, but the ease of the sippy cups won over the guilt.
Suddenly, about a month ago, Babykins started begging for drinks out of our glasses at dinner. Then she started to throw a fit if we tried to give her a sippy cup when we had regular cups. She essentially told us with her yells, “Look, guys, enough of this sippy cup business–I’m 21-months old and ready for the real deal!” So we brought her little plastic cups back out.
There were a few days of extreme mess, but Babykins made it clear that sippy cup at the table was no longer acceptable. Plus, her coordination was much better than it was months earlier, so more milk wound up inside her instead of on her. What would have taken enormous effort to teach her in the winter was astoundingly simple this summer. While Babykins will now occasionally take a drink from a sippy cup, we mostly offer her drinks in regular cups or her water bottle.
Watching this skill unfold has reminded me to have patience with Babykins’s development. With the arrival of a new baby in about 4 months, there is enormous internal and external pressure to make Babykins grow up. There’s a long list of things we could do now to make Babykins into a “big girl”: Ditch the pacifier, bring out the toddler bed, start potty training, get her a part-time job, and enroll her in SAT prep courses (I’m joking about the last two). After all, a new baby will make focusing on these transitions much more difficult.
But you know what? Babykins has shown me time and time again that she’ll make these transitions in her own time. From sleeping unswaddled to drinking from a real cup, she has always made it clear when she’s ready. Not that these changes will be easy if we wait, but they may be easier if I’m patient.
So for now, Babykins can keep sucking on her paci, sleep in her crib, and stay in diapers. There’s plenty of time for her to grow up.
Miles Driven: 1500
Nights Gone: 8
States Crossed: 4.5 (Half of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan)
Beds Slept In: 4
This year for our summer family vacation, we drove to Ohio to visit my grandmother, aunt, and uncle on my dad’s side for a few days. We then drove to Michigan to spend the weekend with some of my family members on my mom’s side. Babykins hadn’t meet many of these family members before, but overall she handled the unfamiliar surroundings and faces very well (except for the fact she still hates long car rides).
While it was nice to get out of town for a bit and the visit to my grandmother was long overdue, we’re still happy to be home.
After a few days of acting off, Babykins woke up vomiting this morning at 5:40. That made it clear that she and I would not be going to church today. She went back to sleep at 7:30 (because who really wants to be up for the day at 5:40 a.m. when they are sick?) and now I’m watching this quiet Sunday morning unfold from the living room.
It’s strange having time like this in the morning, it’s even stranger to have time like this on Sunday morning. There was no rush to wrestle Babykins into her dress, there was no panic to make myself presentable. By now, I would be wrangling Babykins into her car seat and grabbing everything we need to get through the service (have you ever forgotten a child’s beloved pacifier and then try to keep them calm and quiet? I did, once. Never again).
I should probably do something to make up a little bit of missing church, but sitting on the couch reading my Bible–which, truthfully, is sorely neglected in these days of pregnancy and toddler-wrangling–really isn’t the same as singing the liturgy with others and hearing God’s Word spoken to me. Well, hearing as much as a can between hushing the toddler and stopping her from escaping.
At any rate, I guess I’ll turn on some hymns and clean up the kitchen. There’s a puke bucket that should probably be rinsed out as well.
During the school year, Wednesdays are my husband’s long work day. Confirmation every week and most weeks there is a 7 p.m. meeting. During Advent and Lent, he’ll often have confirmation class, followed by evening service, followed by a meeting. Yes, Wednesdays are long days.
By the middle of Lent this year, I was feeling the drain of the extra work and long Wednesdays. There needed to be a bit of excitement in the evening. So I declared Wednesday night to be Popcorn Night for Babykins and me.
Now, after dinner is cleaned up and Babykins has finished her bath, I pull down my trusty Whirley-Pop and pop up some popcorn. Babykins gets a small bowl for a treat and I have a large bowl set aside to eat later as a reward for getting through bedtime by myself. Bam! A little excitement for those long Wednesday nights.