Monday, May 19, 2008

Sippy Cups and Singing

A long due reprieve from the heavy, weighty stuff that sits at the front of my brain at this time of year.

So I've decided to phase out sippy cups. Part of this is because I am lazy, and I only have two sippy cups that I really like to use. After much experimentation and money I determined that really the only stainless cups worth buying are the foogo cups. They are also thermoses, so if you are like me and you accidentally leave the milk out for 3 hours and then feel really guilty and awful about throwing out a cup of perfectly good milk (which we all know some cow somewhere worked really hard to make, and then a farmer worked hard to get it out, and then lots of money was spent to cool it, and transport it, and pasteurize it, and bottle it, and transport it to my local grocery store, where I bought it, only to throw it out??) so it works for that, as well. But I only have two, and at 15 bucks a pop, could I really afford more? No, but I can afford a few wet t-shirts, and save the foogos for the outings. So Aoife is using a cup, a real cup, all the time, and it's funny.

My kid dish situation has always been kind of on the fritz. I was given one little set which had a little melamite bowl and cup with handles, and I also have one pewter bowl. Then, later on, I bought two heavy plastic plates at Target. The collection stopped there. I soon realized that for the most part, when they are past the stage where you throw the food in little piles on the high chair tray, you can give them a regular plate and they don't tend to throw it. So I've never had real kid dishes. It's worked out fine.

When I moved Liam off a sippy cup, I wondered what to do as our drinking glasses are pretty tall and heavy. They were clumsy for him and spilled easily. So what did I do? No, I didn't log onto Crate and Barrell and buy some more. I actually just bought lots of Jam, and ate lots of toast while I waited for the drinking glasses to empty out.

Bon Maman. It's kind of on the expensive side, about $3.50 a jar, but if you factor in that you are getting a free drinking glass with the deal, it's the best bargain in town. You polish off your sweet, delicious fruit jam, and get a wide, flat-bottomed glass that is really quite difficult to tip over. It's light and has about 8 flat sides so it's easy for little hands to hold. Voila.

So, now Aoife, too, gets a Bon Maman drinking jar to accompany her dinner. I bring the beverage to the table in a little pitcher to refill, and give her about a half an inch at a time. She raises her glass proudly, with two hands, and pours heartily. Milk almost always pours in a little, steady stream out of the left side of her mouth as I remind her, "Slowly, tip slowly." She is catching on.

Aoife really, really isn't a baby anymore. She's so grown up that she is really flexible now, and can do things that babies can't do like skip naps, stay up late, and go to the children's opera. We took her there last week, to Little Red Riding Hood. She was scared of the big bad wolf, so I took her to the back where she felt much better. She later explained to Greg, while eating dinner:
"I saw the big bad wolf, I was scary. So Mimi took me to the back and I nursed a little bit." It all comes out in full sentences. She is getting so big.

It is hard for me not to have a baby. I don't plan for Aoife to be my last baby but I wonder if this feeling will ever go away, this desparation to have a baby in arms. This need to be identified as the mother of a baby. She is only 2 and already I feel anxious, as if my identity as baby-mom is being lost before my eyes. Will another baby, or two, solve this? Or is it just part of my long-term mental health consequences of my drama?

In other news, the moon rose full, and yellow tonight as I was driving home from Chorus, my last performance with a group that will dissolve because our director is unable to continue. I sang next to the piano tonight, which is a rarity. Our accompaniest is a brilliant musician who improvises absolutely stunning piano and accordian pieces to go along with what we sing. We sang this gorgeous, Peter Schickele arrangement of Dona Nobis Pacem, and his piano accompaniment was just brilliant. Now this man lost his wife last May, lost her 3 days after their little son was born, and there was Sam, little Sammy, sitting out there in the audience, sucking on his little binky, happy as a clam. Beautiful little Sam, and his Dad there next to me playing the most beautiful music as the voices rose over the crowd and maybe bounced out of the room and over the hills and up to where Sam's mom was, and me there, and my two kids at home, and my one kid maybe hanging out with Sam's mom. And we were all there together, singing, and hearing it, and I started to cry, right there on the stage, and I looked at Chris while he played, and I think he saw my tears.

Life is a neverending circle.


Anonymous said...

I know the feeling of babies growing up and wanting another.

it's hard for me to imagine getting to that point where I won't want any more babies, the time of being a grandma and loving our baby's babies.

right now, i never want to get to that point. i want to have lots of babies, lots of little baby coos, gasps and giggles. My eldest is only barely 18 months but he just seems to be such a big boy compared to that baby i birthed. my second going on 3 months, and i'm already itching for that feeling again.

Hennifer said...

My daughter will be 2 in July. I'm always so amazed at how verbal these little ones can be. My son had a speech delay and has an annunciation issue. My daughter seems to be following in his footsteps. They talk but the words are slow, slow to string together and not pronounced correctly. I'm always in awe of the full sentence speakers, especially in these early years. So cute!

Thanks for the idea about the jam jars! I still have plastic cups from my first time around (7 years ago). I like that they are small but they are SO easy to tip over. Sipping slowly seems to be learned much earlier than watching your elbows and not tipping the cup when you look one way or the other :) Reminds me of learning to drive and not swerving the car.