The Blue Elephant Sippie Cup

(And Other Favorite Things)



Pamela Perry Blaine

© July 2005


“No, No!  The blue cup, Grammy, please, the blue cup,” my

Grandson, Ben, announced adamantly when I was about to hand him

a plain ordinary cup from his Momma’s kitchen shelf.


“What’s wrong with this one, Ben?”  I questioned. 


“It… not… elephant!” he said incredulously as he pointed out

the lid that went to the cup so that he could drink from

the long snout of the elephant.  


“How absolutely stupid of me,” I thought to myself.  Why drink from

a plain old cup when you can drink from an elephant’s trunk? 


Children soon become little creatures of habit and have their

own favorite things that suit their personalities and also help them

feel secure.  There’s the ratty looking baby blanket that my granddaughter

 still has to take along on overnight stays, while Ben has to have

 a laser wand or a couple of creature people with him wherever he goes.

 After all, you never know when you might meet up with a space alien

and need to defend yourself.


As I thought about Ben and his cup, my mind flashed back to another time

when I was at my Grandma’s house.  It is strange how

something like Ben’s cup triggered the memory:


“No, No, use this plate!” My Grandma exclaimed as I started to

set Granddad’s place at the table with a blue flowered plate that

matched Grandma’s plate.  “Your Granddad always uses this plate,”

she said as she handed me a plain white plate with a crack down the middle. 


“But Grandma, this one is all cracked and chipped!” I argued.


“It doesn’t matter, this one is the one your Granddad always uses,

 and here is his glass and silverware,” she added. 

It seemed that not only did he have a favorite plate but the whole place

 setting was made up of his favorite utensils. From that day on,

whenever I would set the table, I knew which objects were

particularly Granddad’s favorites and I dutifully placed the old

cracked plate at my Granddad’s place at the table.


When I was growing up, we didn’t have matched plates, cups,

and silverware.  We had a cupboard of mismatched items that

were used “for everyday”.  The matched dinnerware was for special

occasions like Thanksgiving or when the preacher came for dinner. 


Momma wasn’t overly fond of dishwashing and the only dishwasher we

 ever had back then was the person whose turn it was to "do dishes",

so each of us was assigned a cup or glass to use during the day.  

Although I didn’t have a blue elephant sippie cup back then, I did have

 my favorite cup.  Momma designed me one before we ever heard

of designer dishes .  It was a gold colored aluminum glass that was

one of the gas station giveaways back then.  She wrote my name on it

 with fingernail polish and I felt special having my very own glass. 


Of course, it’s silly to want to have a certain cup or dish.  We all

grow out of that sort of thing after we become mature adults. 

It’s just a childhood "blue elephant sippie cup thing".  I doubt any

of us as adults have ever been known to turn down a glass

of ice cold lemonade because it wasn't in a blue elephant sippie cup

or supper because it wasn’t on a certain plate.  Yet, I sometimes smile

and think of Ben and my grandparents these days as I set my place

at the table with my red heart-shaped cup with the teddy bear on it

 and my teaspoon with the rose on the handle. 



Pamela Perry Blaine

© July 2005