Earlier this week we said goodbye to something that has been a big part of our lives for three years – Harrison’s beaker
You’re probably wondering why a beaker had become such a big part of a life, so I will go right back to the beginning.
We followed all the guidelines, and at twelve months Harrison stopped having formula in bottles, and started having cows milk in a beaker. He never really liked juice or water, preferring to have milk instead. The problem is he became too attached to the beaker. It had to come everywhere with us, filled up with cows milk. He wouldn’t go to sleep without it, and the few times that we tried to take it, the tears and tantrums were unreal, and we caved in. Alex also had a beaker – whatever Harrison has he has to have – but he would quite happily go without it. He would drink from normal cups no problem, but needed this for sleeps.
We hoped he would give it up naturally, and although he didn’t use it during the day (mostly), other than for naps, he was showing absolutely no sign of giving it up. He was saying the right things – ‘I’m a big boy, I don’t need a beaker’, but when it came to it, he wanted it. Although his teeth are perfect at the moment, we were starting to worry about the long term impact on his teeth – constantly sipping on milk through the night is not good for teeth, not to mention the effects of using a beaker. We knew we needed to get him off it before he started full time school in September, and we were rapidly running out of time.
On Monday, my mum suggested having Harrison and Alex for a sleepover. Because she works full time during the term time, and my dad works funny shifts, she hasn’t been able to have them overnight before, and we hoped that the change in routine may break the beaker habit. We packed both his and Alex’s beakers in their trunki, and off they went.
Just after tea time, I had a phone call from a very excited and proud sounding Harrison, telling me the squirrels had taken his beaker for their babies. My mum later told me that he had put it out on the decking, and when he was out of sight, my brother ran out, grabbed it and hid it. He was so pleased when he saw it had gone.
Apparently that night he was a little restless, and when my mum asked him what the matter was, he replied ‘I just miss my bloody beaker’, but soon turned over and went to sleep.
The next day, when he wanted a nap (yes, he is 4 and still naps most days!), he got a bit whingy for it, but fell asleep without it. At bedtime we had a few tears, and he said ‘I don’t want to be a big boy any more, I want to be a small boy’. The promise of some new cars the next day if he was a big boy soon stopped that!
We’ve now managed three naps and three bedtimes without the beaker, and I think we can say that we have cracked it. Whilst he was outside yesterday, I took a photo of it, and then it went in the bin, so there is no going back now!