And the Battle Rages On…

As luck would have it (or not), mealtime in our household serves as a remarkably effective catalyst for that tired old conflict between and among my eight-year-old hellions, destroying what peace and tranquility may have existed hitherto. (“Peace and tranquility” being a relative term, slathered with innumerable conditions, of course). The issue at hand: Who will get to use the highly coveted yellow cup, brimming with liquidy goodness? Like some hoary gridiron quest to win the “The Old Shoe,” a fierce and deeply competitive rivalry has flourished for some time now—over “The Old Cup.” And it’s brutal at the line of scrimmage, people. Downright brutal.

Both kidlets long to wrap their greedy little mitts around said drinking vessel and call it their own. Forevermore. I may just have to make it “disappear” one day, in order to settle this thorny issue once and for all—to permanently remove it from the growing list of things over which my kids fight, to include a one-legged Ken doll, a rickety yard sale chair (circa early Precambrian) and a pathetic looking plastic pony with wheels and a detachable mane. Hell, they’ve been known to squabble over who gets to vomit in the Nine Lives bucket with the pretty kitty on it. Strange but true.

Perhaps wrangling over a silly cup isn’t so terrible after all—aside from having to endure the endless bickering that ensues.

“I get the yellow cup ‘cause you had it last time.”

“Uh-uh, I get the yellow cup ‘cause I called it first.”

“Did not.”

“Did so.”

“Did not!”

“Did so!”

And so the battle rages, with no end in sight. Tupperware ought to be flattered.

With all the hullabaloo surrounding its apparent desirability, it would certainly make sense. I wonder if they even know there are kids out there—multitudes maybe—who would gladly trade their prized Pez dispensers for a Tupperware tumbler—especially for one that happened to be discontinued. Hence: The never-ending dispute over that wretched yellow cup.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what makes it so gosh-darned appealing. It’s a stupid plastic cup, for Pete’s sake! It has no grand fancy-schmancyness about it. No built-in straws or funky handles. No wacky lids or glow-in-the-dark messages. No inherent cleverness involving color changes or disappearing and reappearing pictures is apparent. In my opinion there’s absolutely nothing interesting about the cup at all. It’s boring with a capital B. A plain Jane destined for the recycling bin.

Needless to say, the utter bizarreness of this whole infatuation thing has made me virtually insane with curiosity, and has even driven me to the point of studying every curve and nuance of that blasted cup with a magnifying glass I pilfered from the kids one night. “What’s so blooming special about it?!!” I had to ask, fool that I am.

“It’s pretty.”

“It’s nice.”

“It’s golden-y yellow, Mom.”

That’s all I could wheedle out of the pair. Not a syllable more. Ugh. What a bunch of tightlipped pansies. Couldn’t they cough up more information? Didn’t they realize they were making me crazy with their answering-by-not-really-answering tactic?! “It’s pretty, it’s nice and it’s golden-y yellow” doesn’t help me much. Still pitifully clueless here at Interrogation Central.

Sadly, it is entirely possible that I may never truly know and understand the powerful allure of the infamous “Yellow Cup,” or why my children believe it to possess said irresistible qualities.

Just add it to the ever-expanding list of things I’ll never figure out as a parent—like why my co-ed daughter has a nicer car than I do.

Perhaps it’s because she never got the yellow cup.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2006 Melinda L. Wentzel

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