Tuco’s doctor told me I could start teaching him how to drink water out of a sippy cup, so I went to the store to get him one. Once I found the sippy cup section–yes, there is a whole section for these things–I started reading labels and tried to make a decision. Drowning in sippy cup overload, I just chose a BPA free single cup. I don’t need to have a cupboard full of stage 1 sippy cups, do I? I will just have to suck it up and wash it after each use instead of watching a mountain of cups get taller and taller in my kitchen sink.
I also picked up some bottled water for him after a little agonizing over more choices. I read somewhere that nursery water was bad for babies (?) because there was too much fluoride in it, so I just got regular bottled water–regular bottled water that is somehow better than my tap water because the bottled water came from Pennsylvania (?). Go ahead and laugh, but reading all the info that’s out there about what is safe for your baby and what might not be could make you more likely to listen to your fears rather than logic.
Anyway, I was excited to try this new activity with Tuco. With an uplifting soundtrack of Ladysmith Black Mambazo playing in the background, I held the cup up to my mouth to show Tuco what he should do with it. At this point, I felt very motherly and teachery– as if this was a moment we would remember forever:
Future Me: “Hey Tuco, remember the time I taught you how to use your sippy cup? That was a great time, wasn’t it?”
Future Tuco: “Oh, it was awesome, mom. I totally think about it whenever I’m feeling blue.”
I gave Tuco the cup. He put the mouthpiece in his mouth and started chewing, as this is what he does with anything he can get to his mouth. I tried tilting the back of the cup up, to see if he would start drinking it like a bottle. He wouldn’t.
So I sat cross-legged on the floor and sat Tuco in my lap. I put his hands around the little yellow handles and helped him bring the cup to his mouth. This time he tried drinking. Immediately he started choking. The not-trying-to-be-a panicker part of me thought, Ok, wrong pipe. He’s fine. The coughing continued and the panicker part of me lifted him up quickly to pat his back and make sure he was ok. He was. I knew it, thought the non-panicker part of me.
After Tuco recovered, I sat him in my lap again. Up went the sippy cup to his mouth. He took a drink, and he threw up–all down his shirt, on his legs, and on the carpet. I sat him on the floor and got up to get a burp cloth that was just barely out of my reach to clean up the mess. Within those five seconds, Tuco rolled onto his stomach and stretched out his puke-laden hands onto some library books.
*There are two made up words in this post. Can you find them?**
**The word sippy doesn’t count.