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In Search of the Holy Sippy Cup

There is no children's product I loathe more than the sippy cup. How come none of those Useless and Annoying Baby Things lists you see all over the internet leave out the hateful sippy cup? I understand you have to put your toddler's milk in SOMETHING, and I do see the insanity in handing him a nice tall glass of grape juice, but I am pretty sure sippy cups are out to get me. At the very least, the Sippy Cup Industry is conspiring to take all my money.

Why? Because I am on a quest for the perfect cup. I have entire cupboard full of rejected sippy cups: big ones, little ones, two handles, no handles, spout, and straw. My mother-in-law bought Jack's first sippy cups, a pair of two-handled hard-spouted cups with forty-seven itty bitty parts that continually got lost in the dishwasher. Between Jack's obvious dislike of the hard, flat spout and my impatience with all the little pieces (like I don't have enough dishes to do, Sippy Cup Industry!), we shoved those to the back of the cupboard pretty fast.

Next up were cups with soft silicone spouts. Oh, Jack loved these. These were the cups of his true heart's desire. I didn't mind them at first, since they were easy to put together and Jack was proving himself to be a sippy cup champ. Except for when he discovered he could turn the cup upside down, squish the spout against the high chair tray (or the floor, or the coffee table, or Mommy's shoes), and finger paint with the resulting puddles. Fun times, internet, FUN TIMES.

After I caught him painting a milk masterpiece in the middle of the kitchen floor, I put the soft spouted cups away for a bunch of cheap cups with interchangeable hard spouts. Perfect! Inexpensive, easy to wash, the right size, Jack loved them. He loved them so much he started using them as teethers, and after only a month or two of use, I had to throw them away. Who wants their baby drinking milk with a chaser of gnawed-off plastic?

My husband was lobbying for straw cups, the kind where the straw folds down into the cup. I wasn't excited about forking over six bucks for a CUP, not to mention those things are huge and plastered with Dora and Thomas and other cartoon characters my kid has yet to meet. But one day Phillip came home with a giant straw cup he found at the grocery store and even I had to admit it was perfect. It didn't leak, it didn't take a master's degree to figure out how the pieces went together and, most of all, Jack was a big fan. It was like he knew he wasn't fitting in with the other kids at playgroup, and was just waiting for his out of touch mother to get him what all the cool kids were using.

Off I went to the local Baby Warehouse to stock up, and that's when the madness struck. There it was, The Perfect Cup, but in orange. And the orange was ugly. My eyes were lured away by the other cups. Different sizes! Different colors! Different shapes! Surely some of these other cups would work just as well. I ended up buying a pair of Elmo straw cups (Jack is bff with Elmo), only to take them home and find that the straw was ten times the size of a normal straw AND THEY LEAKED. What's up with THAT, Sippy Cup Industry? I AM SO OVER YOU.

It's funny, because a lot of the things on the Useless and Annoying lists I totally use and love (like a certain nursing pillow! And a certain dirty diaper container!) but I cannot abide the sippy cup. What baby and toddler products drive YOU crazy?

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