“In the Hall of the Mountain Kings” was humming in the background when I said goodnight to the boys. Both of them were still awake. They sat up in their cribs, eyeing me. It was a Wild West standoff. I stood in front of them – sippy cups in hand; they stared back – howls of protest filling their lungs.
The muppets have been pronounced “big boys.” Their one-year checkup showed a 20- and 22-pounder respectively – they’re officially caught up to their peers in terms of size. And now that they’re charging into their second year of life, it’s time to say farewell to the baby bottle.
We had a long conversation about food. The muppets like their pureed fruits, vegetables and ground meats (blech). So as we start to phase out the pre-made blended foods, we’re adding “real food.” Naturally we’ve had Cheerios – a toddler staple. (Toddlers?!)
They’re favorite food is fresh French bread. Search actually mastered the sign for more once he got his first taste. His eyes opened wide as he chewed. He swallowed and frantically gestured for more. When I gave him another piece he didn’t even bother wasting time with the chewing and swallowing before asking for another piece.
They remain a big fan of milk. As it turns out, they’re also a fan of the dispensation method. As part of the people-food transition, they’ve graduated to sippy cups. They are not a fan of the sippy cup. I would go as far as to say they are exceedingly anti-sippy cup.
We started introducing the cup several months ago. They would chew on it for a few minutes and then get distracted by another toy. When we substituted the cup for the bottle permanently, the muppets began staging their protest.
Stage 1: Flat out refuse to have anything to do with the cup.
Stage 2: Scream bloody murder. Attempt to grab the cup and hurl it as far as your little 22-pound self can muster.
Stage 3: Begin (liquid) hunger strike – stuff your face with grownup food.
Destroy has now reached the point where any attempt to persuade him to drink any liquid substance from a sippy cup results in a full-blown tantrum. During our last attempt, he flung himself to the floor in defiance.
“Listen lady…you *insisted* I drink from this bottle. I figured that out. GIVE ME MY BOTTLE!” (This is a similar protest to the one we experienced during the breast-feeding experiement. And…now that I think about it…the same reaction Destroy expressed when he realized there was no milk coming out of his pluggie nipple. “I will not be fooled! Bottle, damnit!”)
So, the muppets have been very cranky these past few days. They do not enjoy having their routine altered. The first afternoon of our new big boy menu plan, we caved – they got their bottle. That evening (they still get the bottle before bed – we’re not completely heartless parents), Destroy sat on my lap with a smug gring. “I won.” Search gulped 10 ounces, instead of the typical six, apparently exceedingly concerned that this bottle may be his last.
“In the Hall of the Mountain King” began to reach its climax. Our duel came to a draw. The boys are sleeping soundly. But I returned to the kitchen with two very full sippy cups.
Like mother, like son. We are engaged in a battle of wills. And those muppets are contenders. The war continues. (But I’m not afraid to play the trump card – I control the milk flow.)
So, dear readers (all 12 of you), any sage advice on how to encourage a not-so-little-anymore muppet to drink from a sippy cup – milk, water, juice, Starbucks mochachino…