For the past couple of months we have tried multiple times to get Colin to understand the mechanics of the sippy cup. We were just using the normal ones you find at Target that are colorful with a little nozzle on the top and handles on the side. We tried it when he was hungry, when he wasn't hungry (and calmer), and every stage in between. We would give it to him just to play with and get used to and also put a little formula or juice in it to tempt him to put the little nozzle up to his mouth. No such luck.
Our latest attempt was using the Avent attachment for his normal bottle that provides handles and the "feel" for using a sippy cup. Still, eventhough he might grab the handles, he wasn't understanding that we wanted him to raise it to his mouth, tip it up, and let the sweet nectar flow onto his tongue and down his throat.
Despite how it might sound, we weren't desperately trying to get him to use a sippy cup. Really it was just a fun idea that we were hoping he would get the hang of. Just like every step has been, though, we knew one day a light would flick on in his brain and he would know exactly what to do, and do it. Today was that day.
I was drinking some good, old fashioned sweet tea from a glass and Rebecca was sitting next to me with Colin in her lap. As soon as he saw me raise my glass from the table all he wanted was to grab it and "play" with it himself. I let him grasp the rim and the side for a second, then we got an idea. I assembled a small Avent bottle with the attachment and brought it to him (empty). Immediately he stuck the nipple in his mouth, knowing exactly what to do. Being dinner time, we went ahead and prepared his formula, starting with two ounces in this bottle. He downed it in no time with only a little tip at the bottom from Rebecca. As he finished we refilled it until he drank all 10 ounces!
We were so proud of him, and it even got us to thinking about what else is going to be changing as he continues to grow up. All we've known in his life thus far is that we pretty much do everything for him. We are exhausted much of the time and have no idea how parents have multiple babies at a time -- or especially how single moms/dads make it. Then we realized, just like now we will not be holding his bottle for him as he drinks, there will be a day when he can use a spoon and fork (or even a spork) to feed himself real food. Eventually he will be crawling and walking himself without our assistance; he'll take his own baths, brush his own teeth, put on his own clothes, clean his own room, and on and on. Of course, for a while we will still be observing most of these things, but not actually DOing them for him will be such a load off that I can't even imagine.
At the same time, there will be a day when he doesn't need us as much anymore, and a day when he even moves away and starts a family of his own. For now that seems like in the distant future, but I know those days will come before we know. And they WILL come. What we can do now is prepare and shape Colin so that he will have the toolbox he needs for facing this world outside of the protection of Mom and Dad. We love him so much and so excited to continue to watch him grow up into an incredible man.