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So, I will be the first to admit that my son Kieran is entirely too old to still be using a bottle, however occasionally it may be.  The problem is that he is a ridiculously picky eater.  I know there are those that will say to me, “if he’s hungry, he will eat”.  Yes, but that will be at 4 a.m. and we just haven’t been ready for that battle yet.  We have only recently gotten him to sleep through the night and have only recently transitioned him to a toddler bed.  We decided to wait on taking away the nighttime bottle.  At least we no longer put formula in the bottle but a healthy meal shake from Shaklee which gives him the calories and vitamins he needs.

Last night, I attempted the switcharoo.  When Kieran asked for his ‘shake ‘in’ (the meal shake) I gave it to him in his sippy cup.  There wasn’t even a moment where he was almost tricked.  Nope, it was an immediate, “Nooooooo, shake in, shake in Mommy”.  To which I replied in my most calm and lovingly firm motherly voice, “This is shake in honey, it’s shake in your sippy cup.”  The good news is that he didn’t drink his meal shake, got hungry and wanted yogurt a little later.  The bad news is all my 23 month old son had for dinner was yogurt, a few crackers and veggie sticks (no, not the real vegetables, the kind that look like fries).  Try as we might to incorporate protein and healthy foods into our son’s diet, we are at a constant loss.  We go through spurts of trying, only to waste so much food that we go back to the lazy parent way and give him ‘shake in’.  It is after all a healthier option than crackers and goldfish we reason.

This morning when he asked for the shake ‘in again, I tried again to give it to him in his sippy cup only to receive a wailing tantrum of a child.  Mommy voice again, “Kieran, this is shake ‘in in your sippy cup, the bottle is gone.”  I walked calmly into the living room talking about the shake ‘in and the yummy peanut butter crackers while I turned on Sharks (aka Finding Nemo) for what I think is the 160 billionth time in less than a month.

After the tantrum had passed he followed me into the living room babbling as if nothing untoward had happened.  I attempted to give him his shake ‘in.  He took it, albeit trepidly, put it to his mouth, chewed the nub a bit, took a sip then handed it back claiming, “all done”.  I felt victorious – it got to his mouth, he took a sip and didn’t freak out.

After speaking with his daycare, one of the directors made a good observation.  Kids expect certain things in certain sippy cups because they don’t want to be surprised when they take a sip.  I think we can all understand this – we’ve all had that experience where we think it’s diet coke and suddenly it’s iced tea.  Our brains don’t know what to do with that.  Same goes for a kid I suppose.  They can’t tell what’s in that colored sippy cup unless they know that the purple sippy cup always has water, the green one always has juice and so on.

Now I need a shake ‘in sippy cup to try this theory.  This is how the baby product companies make a bazillion dollars.  We, as parents, will try anything just to get our kid to stop crying, to start eating, to…  The reality is, if I just keep giving it to him in his current sippy cup, he will have to make a decision – drink it or don’t.  Eat food we give him or don’t.  This is a balancing act and one I think my husband and I need to get a little tougher skinned about.  I’m not going to make him sit until he finishes every last bit, but as of tonight – the bottle is sayonara.

Check with me in a few days to see how well we held up…

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