Meet the Dixie Cup.
If you have young children, you'd better get used to these. Might even want to buy them in bulk.
You're gonna wish you had.
You see, when children are being tucked into their warm, soft beds, kisses have been given, stuffed animals strategically placed all around them, night lights checked, and the ambience of a white noisemaker is turned on, something happens. It almost never fails.
You have nearly made it. The magic couple hours of adult time at night, when no one will need you to cut their food or brush their hair or argue with them over having to wear clothes. You breathe a quiet, contented sigh of relief and anticipate settling down with a favorite book you're working through.
What? It has educational value. I'm learning all sorts of new words and expanding my literary tastes. And what's more, I have LOTS to talk about with the 5th grade boy who carpools with us.
Just at the very moment you tiptoe out of their room and cast one last look upon their sweet little heads all buried in blankets and favorite toys, you hear a little voice.
The little voice, which just mere milliseconds ago you were silently thanking God for placing in your life, is now telling you that the child it belongs to is thirsty.
How can this be? You've hydrated everyone adequately in an attempt to quench the mysterious onset of night thirst. Well, okay, "hydrated" may be too generous, but to be fair, if you give them too much liquid it will mean you pay for it in laundry the next day. It would be better to say you've moistened their little sweet little mouths with a couple drops of water from a medicine dispenser. You may be willing to give a tiny drink, but you've cut off liquid intake hours ago. You ain't stupid.
And yet, you know that the battle has already been won. And not by you. When will you ever understand and accept there is nothing you can do to defeat the power of night thirst?
You stick your head back in their darkened, cozy room and go through the fruitless but necessary motions. You say something to the effect that they may have a drink in the morning and to go to sleep.
Your child simply looks at you, kind of shocked that you still try that angle.
You pad down the hallway, passing your beloved recliner and book, and proceed to fill a small Dixie cup with water. You remember why you love these little cups. Perfect amount of water, disposable, and oh so handy to keep in the bathroom.
When presented to your child, however, you remember your critical error. You did not take long enough to retrieve their drink of water. After all, it would have taken at least a full minute to go all the way downstairs and get filtered water from the fridge.
Your child raises an eyebrow at you, calling your bluff. They know. You know you have been caught, yet you put on your poker face and smile a comforting, motherly smile as you tenderly put the Dixie cup to their rosy lips.
What did you expect, really? They're no dummies, these kids you're raising. Immediately, the flag on the play is called and the game is stopped.
"This is bathroom water, isn't it? Isn't it? I want KITCHEN water."
One of these days I'm going to hire movers to come to my house. Am I moving? Nope. Their only task will be to move the refrigerator upstairs to my children's bedroom. Free access to filtered "kitchen water" any time.
Drink yourselves into filtered H2O oblivion, sweet babies. You know where the pull-ups are and are adept at putting them on yourselves at this point.
Night thirsts. Mothers everywhere will fight them even this night, valiantly and bravely, and yet they know they will lose. Might as well save yourself some time and go get it for them now.