Friday, July 3, 2009

The Great Sippy Standoff of '09

For some reason, I always thought that kids were supposed to drink juice. Maybe because when I grew up, water was a 4 letter word. It was always juice, or soda, or kool aid. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar. When my daughter hit juice drinking age, we had already discovered her citrus acid intolerance, denying us access to any store bought drink other than Simply Apple. We started buying juice concentrates from the health food store, and making juice from scratch. Of course we could only make apple and grape, but it was better than nothing. The concentrates were thick as tar, but mixed with water and sugar, it did the trick. Somewhere along the line, a few parenting skills must have fallen off the wagon, because here we are, at what I like to call "The Great Sippy Standoff of '09".

I hand Eleanore a cup of water. No, sorry, a sippy of water. She doesn't know how to drink from regular cups yet (another parenting fail), she takes a sip, spits it out, and hands it back to me. I explain to her that its just water, like the wet stuff she takes a bath in (maybe that's why she thinks its OK to drink bath water), and that we drink it to be healthy. She takes another sip, spits it out, and throws the sippy down full force. ...Um, no ma'am! I send her to time out for throwing, and after she calms down and comes out, attempt to feed her the tasteless wet stuff one more time. I'm sure you saw the monumental tantrum coming from a mile away? Well here it is.

The first couple of times I gave in. I was weak. I hated upsetting my baby. I hated watching her hyperventilate, knowing that there was juice in the fridge, and I could just give her that instead. That way shes happy, no tears, no stress, no mess. I... was a sucker.

One day I woke up and noticed that we didn't have any of the components required for juice making. No Simply Apple. No fresh fruit. No juice concentrate. Not even milk. It was towards the end of the paycheck (Military gets payed on the 1st and 15th of every month) and our kitchen was abandoned. I took a deep breath, quickly tried to prepare myself mentally, and walked straight into the ring. This is the moment I had been working up to. All of the previous water drinking induced tantrums were all leading up to this great battle. An epic war between Mother and Daughter. Water and juice. Taste and health.

"Eleanore, we don't have any milk this morning. And we don't have any juice. You'll have to drink this water please", I said, handing her a freshly made sippy.

My mom face was on. Mascara for war paint. I held my breath and waited for the bullet to hit me.

It didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would. I had seen it coming, I knew what to expect. Kicking. Screaming. Begging. Confusion turned anger turned hate. She hated me. But, she didn't really hate me. I was standing my ground. I had no choice.

"You cannot have anything to eat, until you finish your water", I told her in the calmest yet strictest voice I own. I repeated it 1,000 times. 5 hours later, with puffy eyes and exhausted lungs, Miss Eleanore went to bed without having breakfast, or lunch. We spent the entire day going rounds. She gave me everything she had. Hitting, throwing, breaking things... everything she had. Well too bad little girl, because I'm the mom, and you're the child, and I'm stronger.

When she woke up from her nap, I was ready for her. I may or may not have slipped some natural red (raspberry) food coloring into her water, with a pinch of sugar. I don't consider it cheating. A compromise, if anything. When she asked me for milk, using her sweetest most innocent angel baby voice, I was half tempted to give in. I was exhausted. It would have been so nice to just hand her what she wanted, and live out the rest of our day in peace. No more tears. But... this was a fight I intended on finishing. A battle that I was going to win.

Screaming. Hitting. Kicking. The mother of all meltdowns. But wait...

Miss Eleanore, the queen of stubborn, was giving up. A battle well fought, but even the greatest of warriors can be defeated.

9 hours after it began, the Great Sippy Standoff of '09, was over. And I had won.


  1. Ha, you are way braver than me. Annelie is officially 2.5 this month... and she is still drinking bottles... She hates sippy cups and so I do the easy thing... I hand her a bottle. Of juice (waaaaay watered down) or milk (also waaaay watered down).

    But I can't bear the temper tantrums. She's an angry kid to begin with (oh wow, those tween and teen years are going to suck) so I try to avoid conflict when I can. *sigh* I know I need to force her to give it up, but I swear, the bottle is my only sanity-saver!!

  2. Yeah for you! Our battles seemed to revolve around binkies. My three year old every one in a while still talks about the binkie she lost when she was 18mo old. Hmmm... but she can't remember to put toys away when she's finished playing with them

  3. Gage is exactly like that, only with chocolate milk. Its world war three in this house when Gage doesn't get his cup of chocolate milk.

  4. I guess I'm pretty kids will drink just about anything, though water is at the bottom of their list and if I do give it to them, it has to be REALLY cold...with ice. Merrick likes his better if it has lemon in it (he ADORES lemons...straight up). I know I must be one of those bad moms because I have no problem giving the kids apple juice or orange juice. They're good about drinking plain milk, though Amelia likes pink milk (like Lola) and Merrick on occasion gets some chocolate milk.

  5. Sounds like dinnertime at my house. :oP Congrats on standing your ground Mom!!! :o)

  6. I started giving my son water instead of juice (b/c he also has a citrus intolerance) and it worked! As soon as we started with the sippy cups I gave him water. He's almost one and chugs water like it's candy. Since he's only had juice a few times he doesn't know what he's missing. He likes it at room temp though, if its cold he spits it out! But who knows how he'll feel about it once he's older?

  7. Holy cow! I am totally impressed. Lil Kay is 6 and I still haven't attempted this battle!


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