Despite my attempt to jinx it, Pumpkin drank her breastmilk from her new sippy cup again today. Maybe I'm being a bit premature, but I'm declaring success. She's clearly demonstrated that she will drink her breastmilk from a sippy cup.
The cup that finally won her over is a lot like a bottle. The cup, a Nuby, is on the left in the picture. Her old bottle is on the right.
The sippy top is soft, and seems to be made out of the same plastic as the nipple on the old bottle. Again the sippy top is on the left and the nipple is on the right.
The small differences between the forbidden bottle and the allowed sippy cup beg the question- why was it so important that Pumpkin be off the bottle? I have heard that dentists prefer babies to stop using a bottle by about one year old, but there are no dentists at the day care center. If anyone out there knows why her day care center would care about this, please post the answer in the comments. I'd ask, but I'm afraid of being labeled a trouble maker and getting Pumpkin's advancement postponed!
The other thing that bugs me about all of this is that when I saw the assistant director (the woman who makes the advancement decisions) on the day that Pumpkin first drank a significant amount of milk from her sippy cup, she nodded knowingly and said something about how it was because the new cup had a soft spout. If this was such an obvious solution to her, why didn't she tell me???? I was unaware that sippy cups with soft spouts even existed, and just stumbled on this one, thinking I might as well try it since I had already tried all of the other cups at the store. I understand that she may be reluctant to say anything that would imply a judgment on my parenting skills, but I was practically begging for advice last week.
I actually really like the assistant director, and think she does a great job. However, in this case, I suspect that some of the strictness in the criteria for advancement had more to do with the need to pick between 6 babies for 4 open slots than any hard and fast rules about what would be OK in the next room. Pumpkin missed out on those 4 slots (which are opening on June 1), but is still in the running for the next slot (which opens mid-June). I refuse to seriously entertain the idea that the assistant director didn't give me advice on the sippy cup transition as part of some nefarious plan to make the decision about the next slot easier. Sleep deprivation has not yet made me that crazy! In fact, I think the day care workers are eager to get my baby (who is not just walking, but running now) out of that little baby room and into the bigger room for toddlers. I am therefore choosing to believe that they all thought Pumpkin would refuse any cup offered, because she is stubborn. They certainly have ample evidence of her stubbornness in other situations.
Regardless of why the sippy cup transition had to occur, I'm glad it is done. Pumpkin is still not eating much finger food that isn't carbohydrate-based, preferring goldfish, graham crackers, and sweet potato puffs to anything with actual nutritional value, but I don't care about that as long as she can keep having her breastmilk at day care. She'll start eating more things when she is ready. Heck, I didn't really eat carrots until college, so she certainly comes by her distrust of healthy food naturally. I know that some people are more sensitive to the bitter taste of vegetables due to variations in the bitter taste receptors, and have often wondered if I am one of those people. I really don't like vegetables much. I make myself eat them, but can't say that I have ever thought "what I want right now is a nice carrot". Perhaps Pumpkin inherited her bitter taste receptors from me. This doesn't explain why she won't consistently eat chicken nuggets, though.
Even though Pumpkin' seating habits make me feel bad when I'm talking to mothers of babies who eat well, I am going to try to stop worrying about them. I am tired of focusing so much on the things Pumpkin won't do, and want to focus instead on all of the amazing things she is doing. As I mentioned above, she runs now. She seems to have four words: Mama, Da-dee (Daddy), buh (bird), and hah (hat). She says hat because we make her wear a hat to go outside, and she really likes to go outside to see her beloved birds. She loves to play a hide-and-seek/extended peekaboo game where she runs away from me when we're in the kitchen, and then sneaks back in, peaking her head around the corner. She has started pulling funny faces, including one that looks like she is doing a weight-lifter's pose (heaven knows where she learned that one). She likes to be read to, and will bring us her favorite books (except for the big animal book, which is too big for her to carry, so she just points at it). She climbs into my lap, opens the book up, and if it is upside down, she turns it around. She gives big hugs, and sometimes will consent to hold my hand while walking. These are good times, even if she won't eat her veggies!