You know that little plastic thing that goes in the lid of a sippy cup? It has arrows on both sides causing mothers-of-a-certain age to squint and hold it up to the light to figure out which end it which?
A little tip from me to you: When it starts to grow mold that cannot be eradicated, it's time to toss the sippy cup.
And when your youngest child is three, you might decide, "Screw it. I'm done with sippy cups forever. See you later, suckers!" And then you might laugh maniacally at your own stupid joke and toss the sippy cups in the trash with smug satisfaction.
Enter: The Era of the Open Cup, also known as The Age of the Spilled Milk.
But it's OK, I've decided. For better or worse, I'm winding down my time in Toddlerville. I'm entering a new phase of life, one more ruled by school calendars and sleepovers and sports schedules than naptimes and tantrums and baggies stuffed with Cheerios.
I'm a little wistful. But mostly, I'm ready.
What's a little spilled milk between mom and her growing kids? Bring on the new stage of life.
I've only got one final hurdle - potty-training Kieran, who never really liked sippy cups to begin with.
Lord have mercy.