In Praise of the Sippy Cup

📅 March 23, 2020

In the decades between my initiation to motherhood and promotion to grand-motherhood, innovations galore have made childcare easier.

For example, my firstborn son did not abide by The Rules of Newborns…reputed to “sleep 18 hours a day.” Instead he was awake 18 hours a day. As a result, I often resorted to The Swing, in those days a “wind-up” affair. Secure child in swing, crank handle—creak, creak, creak—give it a nudge and away he went, soothed, soon dozing.

But maintaining that blessed state of tranquility?

Rewind—creak, creak, creak. Baby jolts awake.

How miraculous was the invention of the battery-operated swing. The befuddled mother had only to discern which speed the baby liked best. For my youngest son: the “rabbit” setting. The faster he went, the better he liked it. [He ended up being a skateboarder and surfer. Makes sense.]

Another constant in childcare has been The Sippy, that rite of passage to toddlerhood. These also have gone through a variety of upgrades and improvements, but one factor remains the same: the peril of a Sippy of milk going rogue, rolling under a sofa, bed, or the front seat of the car, there to remain unseen and undetected.  

***

Methinks in the previous ten-plus years

The word most oft on my lips

Has been the vessel with twisted-on lid

From which a grandbabe sips.

Though some have favored pacifiers

To sucking on thumbs or fingers,

Their love of The Sippy—that best of cups—

Has gripped them all, yea, lingers.

How oft I’ve lost one in the house.

Cup falls, but where has it landed?

When seconds ago, the young one drank,

The next they’re empty-handed.

A fruitless search did then ensue,

On hands and knees I bent.

The Sippy remained elusive, hid,

Till all my strength was spent.

Days later, when said child was home,

I’d find where The Sippy fell.

Fearful, I unscrewed the lid.

The contents? More like gel.

And if The Sippy took a ride in the car,

Consequently slid under the seat,

The effect was worse after time in the sun.

Such sights only scientists meet.

But still The Sippy reigns in my heart

As the cup which soothes my woes,

When full and tendered to little hands,

Such bliss no mortal knows.

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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.