Had one of “those” moments over the weekend.
My eight-year-old daughter had one of her friends over for a sleepover. The next morning we made pancakes, which is what they tend to do at her friend’s house after a sleepover there, so why not?
We forgot to do the whipped cream this time, but only because we were distracted. They were distracted by Silly Putty; I was distracted by something else.
I put out the plates and forks, I put out the cups I always use for my daughter – plastic cups with various princesses on them. I even asked which cup her friend would like: Elsa, Cinderella, Minnie Mouse…
The friend didn’t exactly turn her nose up, but she did question it. Basically, why are you drinking out of these?
This is a very nice, sweet kid. There was nothing sinister afoot. She was genuinely curious.
Obviously, such things were not the norm at her house.
I smiled and asked, “What do you drink out of at your house?”
She shrugged. “A glass. A regular glass glass.”
As kids, my sister and I seemed to have a complete inability to pass the milk bottle from one to the other without dropping it onto the floor and breaking it into a million pieces; that may have played a role in me not trusting my eight-year-old daughter with actual breakable drinkware. It may not have, though. I liked giving her a drink in one of her little cups – the ones she chose at WalMart. The ones we scoured the aisles for to get the latest, greatest ones. But, admittedly, it’s been a while since we did that.
And now we were faced with a moment of slight embarrassment.
She is, after all, eight years old.
And she’s going to be nine and then ten. Cute as they were to her (and me), she’s eventually going to want to stop drinking out of the plastic princess cups.
So as a compromise, I shared with them “my” plastic Harry Potter cups – tumblers, technically, I guess, so they are larger cups, but still plastic. And they’re only mine because I bought them at universal when my plastic USF Bulls tumblers got too faded to keep using. We were at Universal’s Wizarding World, Savvy saw the plastic Harry Potter tumblers, and suggested them to me. Let’s not kid ourselves; she was enjoying her visit and attempting to buy the entire store, but I did need something new to drink from.
The Harry Potter tumblers came home with us, and have become my preferred beverage holder ever since.
It was these that I offered to my daughter and her guest to use during the post-sleepover breakfast.
The girls seemed to like that the cups were differentiated by color and “house.”
One got Slytherin, the other got Gryffindor, and the feast of pancakes and sausages was able to proceed without further incident.
And then today I went to WalMart to buy some new drinking vessels for my daughter.
We are not strangers to glassware. We have very many beautiful crystal wine glasses we use all the time. We have glass water glasses and glass juice glasses; glass beer mugs and glass beer pint glasses. Shot glasses. You name it; we have it. In glass.
But we also have a little girl that, while we know she’s going to grow up… I guess I’m not in a rush for that to happen.
As a result, we purchased – I purchased – a few more plastic cups.
Minions and Harry Potter house crest cups. Same size as the princess cups, just not as big – not as grown up – as the plastic HP tumblers. I can’t tell you why, exactly; she drinks out of the tumblers all the time anyway. I use them to be cute for her, I guess. To show her that Dad is still kind of a kid. That I’m fun. She steals them all the time from me and gulps down my tea when she thinks I’m not looking. So it wouldn’t be a big deal to just let her and her friends use them.
And I suppose we will switch to glassware one day.
Today’s just not that day.
I got “the look” from my daughter at the pancake breakfast, when I broke out the plastic princess cups. The look that basically said, “Dad, don’t lead me down the wrong path and let me end up being embarrassed.”
I guess we both were down that path a little, hanging onto a time that possibly should have already passed. And it’s okay. Things have to change. It’s part of life.
When I get home, I will wash the new cups and put them in the cupboard, take the old ones out and put them in the pantry, for those occasions when we have lots of kids of various ages who need plastic cups. My daughter’s sippy cups made their way to the pantry after a long period of usage, and before that, her baby bottles. Each set eventually made its way to a garage sale or Goodwill, or to a friend’s house with younger kids who’d use them.
I don’t think I like the ritual. I don’t know if I disliked it the last time I did it, but that one was more at my timetable. This one’s not.
These things are going to happen. They will. They should. Kids grow up.
I think I did a pretty good job of taking it in stride at the moment. The sleepover breakfast incident was addressed quickly and smoothly, and we moved on to other things.
Well, they did.
This morning, in quiet solitude, I will perform the sad pantry ritual for the princess cups.