The Blue Elephant Sippie Cup
(And Other Favorite Things)
© July 2005
“No, No! The blue cup, Grammy, please, the blue cup,” my
Grandson, Ben, announced adamantly when I was about to hand him
plain ordinary cup from his Momma’s kitchen shelf.
wrong with this one, Ben?” I
“It… not… elephant!” he said incredulously as he pointed out
the lid that went to the cup so that he could drink from
long snout of the elephant.
“How absolutely stupid of me,” I thought to myself. Why drink from
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
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
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,”
said as she handed me a plain white plate with a crack down the middle.
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
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
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
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
my teaspoon with the rose on the handle.