And yet. As with so many things, Joy leads me to new perspectives. For Joy, the opportunities to be like other kids are fewer and farther between than for her sister. I find myself actively seeking out opportunities to emphasize the "just like the other kids" aspects of her life. In some cases, like the two below, that includes products -- products that don't break the bank, even!
When we sent Joy off to school this fall, eating and drinking were a special consideration. I can pretty easily send a bag lunch that will keep her well-nourished. Drink, however, was a bit of a question. Joy doesn't "do" milk or juiceboxes these days. Fortunately she still likes water (and soda, though we don't send that to school!) She gets an open cup with supervision at meals at home, and was still using sippy-ish cups at daycare.
But Mama can't send a toddler-ish sippy to kindergarten with her big girl! So I went looking for a spillproof cup that:
- fits in a lunch box
- holds a decent-size drink of water
- doesn't leak
- is easy to open and close
- is easy to drink from
- is not particularly susceptible to chewing damage (no soft-straws)
- has gradeschool appeal
I found it at Target, at the appealing price of $3.99!
Target's Embark water bottle is BPA free, comes in bright colors (but without commercial character images), and has held up for a number of months so far. Joy has a pink one, Rose has a purple one, both are happy with them. We know of at least one friend whose mom got her one too after seeing my girls using theirs at the park after school! The only downside of these I can see is that they're in-stores only. Which is where Santa went to buy some stocking stuffers lately -- it will be good for each girl to have a back-up bottle...
Well, we got the original bottles back in the summer when the weather was still hot and the hydration need was more evident. But now we've got 10 inches of snow on the ground and temperatures in the deep freeze. Growing girls need winter gear, and that includes snow boots. Fortunately Joy does not have any particular foot issues / need for orthotics or any such. What I do require in Joy-boots is rugged construction and ease in getting the things on and off. What we've used over the past several years for both Rose and Joy, just like many of their classmates use, is the Snow Flurry boot from Land's End:
The big draw of these boots ($29.50, and you can order them online) is the velcro side-closures. You can't entirely tell from the picture, but each of the sides pulls open into a big wide gusset that makes lots of room for a little foot to go in, and then clings tightly closed to keep the boot on.
They've been improving these boots since we first tried them a few years ago. My only complaint with last year's pairs was that they got pretty stinky after a long season. This year's version claims "Antimicrobial finish helps fight odor" so we'll see if it helps! They've also made last year's little pull-tabs at the top of the closure into actual loops that a little finger can fit through to pull.
Joy's got the purple ones, and a couple of days ago as we were walking home we fell in with one of her classmates, a little guy who always greets her with a "hi, Joy!" even though he usually doesn't pay much attention to her other than that. This time, however, he noticed and took care to point out that Joy had the exact same boots as his younger sister -- and the same style as his own. Just like the other kids.... ahhhhh.
I've been lax about "disclaimer-ing" these product posts, but I do want to make clear -- I receive no compensation nor consideration from the companies whose products I write about. If I ever get a review sample of anything, I will disclose that fact and would point out both positive and negative features forthrightly.