Adventures in Attachment Parenting: The Gdang Cup! by Allison Silver

In a little over a month our baby will be turning two!! Some days it feels like just yesterday we brought home our new little baby and then there are the other days when it feels like she has already been two for at least six months!! The area of development that out little girl is currently striving for is independence. (I know many of you are probably reading this and thinking to yourselves, “If she thinks two is bad just wait for the teenage years!”)

It’s not that I don’t want her to be independent, on the contrary. It’s just that sometimes the ways in which she exerts her independence drives me a little bit bananas! Our latest struggle for independence has been over the Gdang cup! Every time we go to a restaurant she HAS to have her own “special” cup. God forbid you try to bring a cup from home! That will not cut it!

This past week we went out to dinner at Red Robin after going grocery shopping in the evening. Looking back on it, it probably was not the best idea since Miss Independent had not had a good nap but it was getting late and we needed to grab some dinner before driving the thirty minute drive back home.

When we walked in we were surprised to see how busy it was for a Tuesday evening! The place was packed! But the hostess was able to get us seated fairly quickly. You can always tell when hostesses or other restaurant personnel don’t have any children of their own, they always sit you at a table that is nearly impossible for two people to sit at comfortably let alone two plus a high chair and a ten pound diaper bag!

As soon as we sat down and observed how busy it was we decided to order our dinner with our drinks so everything would come out just a wee bit faster. As soon as we received our drinks our daughter instantly wanted her own special cup! So we asked the hostess to please bring us a child’s sized cup with a straw. She did and it was filled to the brim with liquid, yet another sign that she does not have children.  If you had children you would never give a toddler a cup filled to the brim with any type of liquid! And although I appreciate that the restaurant had a child sized cup their execution could be modified. Instead of having a true toddler straw cup they give you a small plastic cup with a flimsy plastic lid that just leaks everywhere!!

So here we are sitting at a table that is uncomfortably too small, with the “special” cup filled to the brim, and our toddler who is obsessed with putting the straw in the cup and pulling it violently out of the cup which entails flinging droplets of her beverage all over me and anyone else who is sitting within range! After several minutes of this game I try to take the cup from her and help her drink from the straw. God forbid you try and help! She begins to scream and grab the cup from me. So here we are both playing tug of war with a cup! When I finally let go and say under my breath, “Here is your Gdang cup!” I am not confirming or denying that Gdang may have been substituted with another expletive!

After she gets her Gdang cup she proceeds to tip it sideways and since there is just this flimsy plastic lid it is streaming down out of the side of the cup down the front of the high chair and on the floor. I seriously just wanted to take the Gdang cup and throw it across the room!! Ugh! Meanwhile both my husband and I are wolfing down our food to try and get out of this environment before one of the three of us completely loses it!  I seriously just wanted to run out of there screaming!  Luckily she did become interested in her food for a few moments so we could finish our meal and regroup.

After dinner, on our drive home, my husband commented on how different certain restaurants feel after having a  toddler.  It’s funny because before we had our daughter we would casually enjoy a meal at a restaurant like Red Robin and not think twice about anything.  Now we are aware of every little thing! We both also agreed that experiences like this make us appreciate our little Mountain Mike’s Pizza buffet that’s just down the street from our house. Never in a million years would I have ever guessed that a local pizza buffet would be my preferred restaurant of choice!

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