The Sippy Cup Psycho
So this blog is not about parenting advice - let's be clear on that. BUT, I do have one one golden nugget of insight that I learned from my nugget that I would like to impart. Excuse me while I go put on my corduroy professor's jacket with the patches on the elbows.
So the main thing that I've learned about this parenting thing thus far is to trust the process. That's the macro lesson. The meso lesson is the kid will do the thing that you think that they will never do - swearsies. The micro lesson, or in my case, the "teachable moment," that finally brought these lessons home, involved sippy cups. So.Many.Frigging.Sippy.Cups.
One day I was hanging around my mommy friends and some of their little boogers were actually DRINKING OUT OF SIPPY CUPS. Moment of mortal mommy panic. My kid can't drink out of a sippy cup, I thought. This, for those in the know, is just a hop, skip, and a jump from MY KID WILL NEVER DRINK OUT OF SIPPY CUP AND THEREFORE WILL PROBABLY NEVER GO TO A POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL AND WILL FAIL AT LIFE. I can't explain why your brain does this kind of injustice to you when you have a small human to keep alive, it just does. Any time your child doesn't do something, you think you have failed as a parent, a human, and that you have profoundly altered your child's life in such a way that it is now ruined. It's like math - the formula always comes out that way - believe me. ALWAYS. My kid isn't talking = profound human failure. My kid isn't walking = profound human failure. My kid can't drink out of a sippy cup = profound human failure that I better freak out about.
So I proceeded, after that little playdate, to buy EVERY sippy cup on the market. And I do not exaggerate here. You might think I'm joking but I literally bought every single one ever manufactured. The ones with the straws, and the 360 business, and the ones with the soft lids and the hard tops and the ohmygodIspentsomuchmoney. I washed every brand new sippy cup and handed it to her like a shiny prize. She didn't drink out of any. Not any. Well, maybe a few sips that I forced her to take, and then the sippy sup would be abandoned to only now, two year later, be reincarnated as her toys which she leaves strew about like so much of my hard-earned money turned into plastic garbage for me to kick from room to room.
Then one damn day she drank out of a sippy cup. Woohoo.
I'd lost my sh*t over nothing.
But then I thought back to every single time I'd done the same thing. I'd fretted and fussed, and threw money at the "problem" until it wasn't a problem anymore because frankly, it was never a problem. I was a problem, that's super fer sure. But she was never the problem, nor did she ever have a problem. She just wasn't ready. I had to trust her process. Which, ultimately, meant that I had to trust that there is some kind of process, and maybe trust my own process, and discover the cosmic direction of life, and well, you get it.
I still sometimes don't believe that my daughter will enter the next stage (potty training which I hear is for suckers). But she will. It might be hell, but you know what, it'll pass. It all passes. Hard promise on that one. We forget how hard the hard times are and we keep pushing forward. We're mothers. So we gotta.
I guess if I had to sum up what I've learned via the sippy cup debacle is that all those other mothers who told me she'd be ready one day were right (trust). That she moves from stage to stage, just as she should (trust). That the person that suffers the most when I get all screwball and try to rush something is me (trust THAT sister!). Parenting, I think, has helped me trust the universe and my place in it more than ever and so if I can impart that to you in even a tiny way, then the sippy cup thing was almost worth it.