We all know how important it is to drink milk. Every time I see my pediatrician, he asks how much milk the wee ones are drinking on a daily basis. In fact, to ensure that I can actually answer that question with some degree of accuracy, I finally measured the capacity of the cups I use.
Getting them to drink milk used to be easy. They just did it. I gave them a cup, and the milk disappeared.
Somewhere along the way, Mister Man decided he didn’t like milk anymore. Grandma had started to give him chocolate milk. I sort of get it, considering that I don’t like milk. In that, I empathized with him. That didn’t mean I gave up though. I tried being clever and creative. I put food coloring in it and made blue or pink or orange milk. Mister Man is a bit too smart for his own good.
It never worked, so he gets milk with just a teensy bit of Ovaltine stirred in. I look at the serving sizes where it gives instructions to put three heaping tablespoons into an eight ounce glass of milk. Ummm, no. How about a half teaspoon for six ounces of milk. Of course, this also explains why he doesn’t like the chocolate milk in restaurants where I have to ask for half and half, but I’m good with that. I’ve since learned that there’s something in chocolate that prevents calcium from being properly absorbed.
We’ve also gone through the phase where the wee ones just simply decided they didn’t want to drink milk at meals anymore. Mommy got clever (or stupid, depending on your point of view) and told them that drinking milk turned them into bunnies. As they took additional sips, their ears started to grow longer and furrier and little fluffy cottontails began to sprout from their backsides.
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that Mister Man is too smart for his own good because he completely bought into that one. For months it worked. In fact, they swore that they saw the ears of the sibling growing, too. Apparently they wanted to be bunnies. Who knew? That didn’t work forever though.
We moved on to the swimming concept. I talked about how milk lets the food swim around in their stomachs. That really wasn’t too appealing, but I riffed from that and found a solution. I had them lift their shirts to show me how much room was left. I’d feel around in various places and tell them that there was a little more room for milk over here and so forth. Phew! Ok, that only worked for a couple months, too.
Little Miss for a couple weeks showed that sometimes she isn’t as smart as her brother. I’d secretly add a couple drops of food coloring, and she’d swear that her milk tasted like oranges or cherries or blueberries or grapes. I wasn’t about to correct her, but I was always entertained by this. Interestingly, when I colored it green, the flavor was green. Not mint or apple or anything that is green, just plain green flavor. That only lasted a couple weeks before she got bored with it though.
Then we talked about how milk makes for strong bones. I’d feel their bones and tell them that they were getting weak and needed more milk. They’d happily gulp some more and then show me their strong bones. That one probably would have worked for a long time, but I made a mistake. I told Little Miss that her bones were getting so weak that her nose was sliding off her face. That freaked her out, and she couldn’t drink her milk because she was too busy covering her nose with her hands. Oops.
Now, I talk about big kids. I tell them that I’m not ready for big kids in this house and that they shouldn’t drink their milk. Ok, maybe just a little bit but don’t drink it all up. The din ensues, with them shouting, “We want big kids! We want big kids!” The milk all disappears pretty soon after that, as I sigh in mock exasperation and make fake frownie faces at them. They think it’s hilarious.
Honestly, Mister Man will drink his milk now if I tell him he needs to drink it. He’s a good kid, and he knows to follow the rules. Little Miss is the stinker though, and she’s started telling me that she’ll stay a little kid just for me and not drink her milk. Hmmm. So far, she’s always decided that in the end she wants to be a big kid, but I see this one will be in the scrap heap again sometime soon.
The evolution of milk continues. Right now, I’m plum out of ideas. Here’s hoping that brilliance strikes me again before they decide to stop drinking milk.