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It all started with milk.

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Besides one very basic assumption about people — everyone wants tasty juice, please (and by “juice,” I mean “wine,” obviously) — the name and inspiration for this blog actually stem from something far more innocent.

My son, James, is petite. He isn’t even in the bottom height and weight percentiles for a two-year-old. And he’s about to turn three. My other son, Luke, who is not even one, wears bigger clothes than he does.

At two, James was lagging so far behind on the growth charts, our pediatrician suggested we start supplementing his diet (at that point consisting of nothing but popsicles and those little, calorie-negative puff things that you give to babies just learning to eat), with Pediasure.

For the uninformed, Pediasure is basically the kiddie version of the calorie-dense shakes that they give to the likes of those recovering from major jaw reconstruction and need to consume all food through a straw, or people who refuse to eat and are at risk for quite literally disappearing from extreme weight loss. So, like, really sick and really old people.

James is a picky eater on a level that I probably deserve, and that fuels quite a lot of my emotionally-driven wine-drinking (more on that another day); however, he managed to develop quite an affection for Vanilla Pediasure. It began with us mixing some into his regular bottle of milk. And then a little more. And a little more. We called it “Tasty Milk.” Eventually, the Pediasure completely eclipsed the actual milk portion, and we were enthusiastically giving the kid the syrupy sweet beverage, full strength. We even just started calling it plain ol’ “milk” again. We didn’t even know the difference anymore.

He was downing the stuff day and night. And it appeared to be working! I swore I could suddenly see a little fat dimple in his formerly 80s-fitness-instructor-worthy flat bum. I was no longer threatening to duct tape his pants up. “MILK! MILK, PLEASE!” he would say, in his little baby-kitten-sucks-helium voice.

All day long, this reminder rang through the house. “MILK!” Had our son suddenly developed a dairy-themed tic? At once charmed and totally irritated by it, like all self-respecting moms, I naturally began to capture video of it.

When it occurred to us that James’ fondness for Pediasure may have been coming dangerously close to full-on addiction, replacing his desire to eat any actual food at all, we decided to pump the brakes a bit. We began replacing some of the vanilla Pediasure with regular milk.

Little did we know that, contrary to popular belief, you cannot pull a fast one on a toddler. In particular this toddler. What James lacks in stature, he makes up for in sheer authoritarianism. My little dictator.


He would literally take one sip of the watered down milk and send it back like the most feared restaurant critic, to be corrected with the proper Pediasure-to-milk ratio. Most of the time, he wouldn’t even break eye contact with whatever episode of “Bubble Guppies” he was watching. A little arm would jut out from his high chair, thrusting the offending bottle back at us to be fixed. “TASTY MILK, PLEASE.”

He became so crazed, I was able to capture enough content to create a full-on video montage of his milk requests here: James Loves His Tasty Milk

A year later, we are off milk almost entirely, having moved on to a new addiction obsession: juice. Like the Pediasure/milk blend, we prefer to give James a mix of water and apple juice when he asks (read: all day long), lest we end up with an even more sugar-crazed mini-lunatic on our hands than we already have. I will let you, dear reader, imagine what happens when we foolishly go a little heavy on the water.

And so the concept for this blog was born.

When I put together James’ “Tasty Milk Video,” a lot of jokes were made about how the very same video could have been captured of me repeatedly blurting out “WINE!” throughout the day. Indeed, for all events, moments, transitions and struggles in our house, wine is a natural — and deeply necessary — accompaniment.

This blog is in recognition of that truth. I hope you enjoy.

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