Cups, cups, cups

I discovered at a recent barbecue picnic that Sweet Potato is enamoured of drinking from a cup. I’m not sure if she’s more interested in the cup or what’s in the cup.  Probably the former given that she often spits out what I let her try.  She really liked the Spelenda-sweetened tea they were serving, but that’s hardly surprising. It was quite sweet, and the tea wasn’t particularly strong.

That got me thinking: what did parents do before sippy cups? The sippy cups we have today are “spill proof,” but even in past iterations, the cups had spouts to make drinking easier. I know, because my mother in law still has several of those Tupperware cups- and they work well for a baby who hasn’t figured out how to use the modern kind that only operates with significant suction.  Or were they really invented to keep things cleaner? I think that’s the more likely scenario.  I doubt that moms let their toddlers run around the house with glasses full of apple juice before these handy cups were invented, but there were surly a number of accidents while children were learning to drink.

Did moms have to be more aware of their children’s thirst and make a point to offer water on a regular basis? I’m sure that if there had been car seats, there would be no integrated cup holders. At what age would a child be proficient at using a regular adult glass? Because I’m sure this was in the era before plastic was ubiquitous.  And would it be so bad to go back to this era?  Are sippy cups an invention of modern times in the same vein as the “kids meals” that I find so exasperating? Are sippy cups training our children to be gluttonous slobs who think they can eat and drink anything, anywhere at any time?

Okay, maybe they’re not that bad. But I think that this summer, Sweet Potato will get plenty of chances to drink water out of a solo cup. Outside.

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2 thoughts on “Cups, cups, cups

  1. Hey Anna! I think you might enjoy reading French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon. We’re about halfway through right now and are loving it. It’s fascinating to read their cultural views on eating, teaching about food, and etiquette. And they don’t do sippy cups at all, FYI. 🙂

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