Monday, January 20, 2014

Knowing Orange

He chooses the orange crayon and carries it around proudly all morning.
He accidentally breaks it in half by noon.
So he now carries one half and I hold on to the other for him.
No matter what else he plays with, in the heart of his right hand remains that small half-cylinder of colored wax.
I take it from him when he gets sleepy, for nap time, and return it to him when he wakes up.
It sits on display front and center on his high chair tray as he eats.
He, the orange crayon, and I dance after dinner.
As I get his crib ready for bed time, he continues to play.
So attached to this crayon has the boy become, he doesn't want to part with it.
He wishes to hold the beauty and power of this small half-cylinder of colored wax for all time.
Upon my return there is no child with a crayon, there is simply the child with a bright orange smile.
Joy and pride embodied.
In my brief absence he and the crayon have become one.
He has absorbed its power.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Alternatives to The Sippy Cup

I know a lot of fellow parents with children much older than Jude who're still using bottles. Let me preface with: that's okay, you aren't doing anything wrong! The important thing is that your little one is keeping hydrated. That said, a lot of you have come to me asking on several occasions how I got Jude to go from bottle to sippy. I've even written about this once before. Thing is is this...

In order to properly use a sippy cup a child must first understand how to drink from a regular cup. Like, the mechanism behind swallowing. Obviously this is messy and something you can, at this point, only offer under close supervision. But this is the step most parents don't realize is key to everything else or simply don't even know about. No one told me. The pediatrician starts saying she wanted to see Jude bottle free at like, 8 months of age but never once offered any insight into how you should properly go about it. I ended up doing a lot of research on my own (thanks Google).

Even if you do everything right though your child may simply not care for sippy cups. It may be less about the bottle as a comfort than you think. This was basically the case with Jude. Even though he's been using a sippy since about 8 months, he will rarely pick it up to have a drink on his own. Meaning if I don't follow him around offering it to him, he'll get dehydrated from not drinking. No matter how thirsty he is, he won't seek it out even if I leave it in plain sight with his favorite beverage inside.

They say using a straw is harder than using a spout cup, and technically the 'next' step, but Jude has been taking small drinks from a straw since he was really little. So I figured, you know, maybe I should just get him a sippy cup with a straw instead of a spout and see how that goes. I did and honestly it's one of the best investments I've ever made. He now not only drinks on his own but will happily take his cup with him (pardon the post holiday mess) from room to room so it's always on hand -- without any encouragement from me.

Which got me thinking, if your child seems opposed to the sippy, why not give a straw cup a shot? You may just finally be able to say goodbye to the bottle! His pediatrician was thrilled he was not only bottle free but also skipped the spout cup altogether.