Friday, November 21, 2008

The Evolution of Milk

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.


MaBunny November 21, 2008 at 7:53 PM  

Wow Michelle, good luck with that. My child drinks milk, but to make sure she gets what she needs she takes vitamins, because she doens't alwasy eat the veggies I give her, or she might not drink milk for a few days and so forth. I can't fool her though, shes old enough she wouldn't fall for the food coloring in the milk glass, although that is a clever ruse... she'd just tell me that looked grody:)

Mary November 21, 2008 at 11:38 PM  

I have three healthy girls who never drink milk.

But I used to fool them into eating string beans by telling them that they were frogs.

Michelle November 22, 2008 at 11:19 PM  

Mabunny - It sounds like I'm not alone in this. I know the fooling won't last for long, but I'm hoping that I can at least establish it as a habit now so that it becomes less of an issue later. Oh, and I've also gone with the "you can't have your vitamin until you finish your milk" routine, which also works pretty well ;)

Mary - I wouldn't worry so much about Little Miss as she eats other dairy products, but Mister Man doesn't like cheese or cottage cheese or any of the other usual alternatives, so he needs his calcium from something! I LOVE the frogs idea though. That cracks me up :)

WeaselMomma November 23, 2008 at 6:11 AM  

One of mine can't drink any milk. It makes her sick as she has an intolerance. I just bought those chocolate flavored calcium chews (viactive) and give it like a viatamin.

Mary November 23, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

I have one that was allergic to any and all dairy. She grew out of her allergy, but still stays clear of dairy for the most part.

The other ones eat cheese and ice cream. Not at the same time. Eww.

Michelle November 23, 2008 at 10:18 PM  

Weaselmomma - I may look into the Viactive if Mister Man ever decides he's totally done with milk. Of course, I have a supply of (very old) ones in one of the jars on my counter. Since my mom periodically uses them as stocking stuffers for me. Subtle, she's not.

Mary - Ooo, that's a rough allergy. That and wheat are two that I'm really glad we avoided. And umm thanks for the clarification that the cheese and ice cream aren't eaten together ;)

Cookie November 24, 2008 at 6:50 PM  

I hated milk as a kid. My kids love it. a lot. I might have to buy a cow soon.

Cookie November 24, 2008 at 6:50 PM  

I hated milk as a kid. My kids love it. a lot. I might have to buy a cow soon.

Michelle November 24, 2008 at 9:16 PM  

Cookie - So does that mean you now like milk? I still don't! Bummer on the cow but hey -- it'd be a great life lesson for them, right?

BPOTW November 28, 2008 at 7:22 PM  

Bunnies and noses sliding off faces...that's hilarious! It probably wouldn't work that way with me. My kids would probably be turned off totally from milk. I hope you continue to find clever and convincing arguments!

Michelle November 28, 2008 at 8:46 PM  

Vicki - I'm constantly amazed by what works with them -- and by what doesn't work! So far, so good. I haven't quite resorted to strapping them in and not letting them leave until the glass is empty!

krissy November 29, 2008 at 10:03 AM  

This is so funny! I wonder if he will grin a big one, when he is your age, telling his little ones they will sprout bunny ears if they drink their milk. The stories that make us who we are. lol

Michelle November 30, 2008 at 3:10 PM  

Krissy - Welcome! I can only hope that Mister Man will be lucky enough to have his own children someday and be involved in their lives AND remember the days of turning into a bunny. Now that's fun to think about!

Diva Scrapper January 29, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

how absolutely clever...mine is still just 21 months but gives me all sorts of grief with other matters of which I usually just laugh or snicker to myself..because really...they are only Little for just a bit! Thanks for sharing.
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