One word: Bottles!

Bottles galore!

Bottles galore!

Mr. McGuire famously said to young Benjamin Braddock in “The Graduate”, “I just want to say one word to you … plastics.” I would add another word to that ‘bottles’.

No, plastic bottles don’t excite me and I do not enjoy writing about them. They were not on my radar when I belonged to the DINKdom, fast-forward a few years to two kids in school and its a different story. My preoccupation with bottles is matched only by my obsession with kid poop!

They say raising a child is expensive, but no one really gets down to specifics now, do they? Well, here I am baring it all for those of you who are planning to have kids. As a parent you will spend a mini-fortune on these things designed to do nothing but hold water and in the process most likely end up as a contender in the mass-bottle-buyer championship!

It all started rather innocuously with baby bottles, used mainly for pumping and feeding the baby, one of those things that feature regularly in the new moms ‘must do’ criterion. Then came the sippy cups, and as any devoted mother would, I scrounged the internet for advice on the best transition leak-proof sippy cup (spout or straw, central nozzle or side, with or without a wrist/neck-band, bang-proof and chew-friendly). What followed was an island-wide hunt for the perfect bottle. In my naivety I didn’t realise that I would be repeating this exercise every few months for the next hundered few years at least until the bottles miraculously start lasting longer than a life span of a caterpillar.

In the last 5 years, my brood has collectively lost/broken/annihilated more bottles than there are rows in Excel! Slight exaggeration there, but you get the point. Apart from some of them simply disappearing, no two bottles suffered the same fate – some broke after being unceremoniously thrown against the wall/ground, many started sporting unexplainable cracks, some came back all battered and dented from school, some didnt come back at all (and yes, I have considered dog-tags), some just shriveled into a shapeless blobs after a hot water wash, some lost during travel/holidays, etc. The most recent one started mysteriously wobbling around like a Fisher Price toy penguin, just a month after use.

I have a little theory on these bottles which simply don’t last a few full moons – planned obsolescence. In short, planned obsolescence is when manufacturers stimulate demand for their products by designing ones that wear out after limited use. I can picture the bosses of these bottle company cartels huddling together in some dilapidated abandoned warehouse in the outskirts of some old city, in Hollywood mafia-style and strategizing on how to best degrade their product quality.

To appease the environmentally conscious part of my brain, I tried steel/metal bottles but decided the eco-payoff (the heavy metal bottle smashing down on the little toe) wasn’t worth it. We do try our best to recycle these bottles, or whatever is left of them. Considering I’ve been buying these at the rate second only to diapers, I’ve got bottle hunting down to a T – Color. Check. Right plastic number. Check. BPA-free. Check. Lightweight and easy to clean. Check.

With any luck the kids will get through highschool without spending their entire college fund on water bottles, but I’m not putting my money on it (pun intended).

4 thoughts on “One word: Bottles!

  1. Too funny! Love your post. Between new lunch boxes that are badly designed and bottles that wear out after just a few months of use, I feel like I’ve got the market cornered because I try so many. I am often wrong. I still use the metal kleen Kanteen ones or BPA free plastic ones on a school trip or when traveling. I’m completely bottle obsessed. I use glass with a silicone cover; living in California we are all so Eco – conscious, bottle making has become a fine art 🙂

    • I’m so happy you relate! One of my kid has lunch at home and the other gets school lunch so the lunch boxes don’t feature here.. But I’m pretty sure if I was packing for them it will be a similar story. I did consider a glass one, but it only had half a cover and it looked like it was designed more for babies than kids. If I ever come across that perfect bottle I’ll let you know!

  2. You forgot to mention the suspicious black mold that grows in every crack and crevice of the mechanism.

    I can tell you that the bottle loss slows down around age 10. But that might just be a function of my Kid’s 4th grade teacher being better organized than her previous teachers.

    As for lunch boxes, the Kid gets so many free ones (at the zoo, at street fairs, with lunches at restaurants) that we don’t worry about them too much.

    • Yeah, a few times we’ve had a bottle long enough to see some suspicious colored stuff inside! I have a long way to go before we realistically stop bying bottles.. can’t wait. We do have quite a few lunch boxes, free ones with all sorts of characters on them, I got a few as party return gifts too.

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