Here's answers to a few questions about James:
Q: Does he have any other way of drinking that you can just give him that and let the bottle disappear?
A: NO. He could, it's not a matter of function or know-how. It's a matter of will. And he has a very VERY strong one! It has served him well in life, and will continue to as he "advocates" for himself! But in this case, I admit I wish his will was just a BIT LESS :).
Q: Does James eat any food so you can give him a cup with the food and just see what happens?
A: Not really. He eats a few cheerios or a few jars of babyfood, but recently he's been having more reflux (again) and he's been on JUST Pediasure. We give him 'pleasure tastes' of food and try to help him learn to move them around and swallow nicely, but generally they come back up along with the Pediasure. So, for now, the Pediasure stays down... it's just Pediasure!
Q: Some of your stories of how to say goodbye to the bottle: We cut the bottle nipple and told our kids it was broken/ We were told the Easter Bunny needed them for baby bunnies/ We got a new gift and that replaced the bottles/ We had a special time buying new big kid cups and wrapped them, etc...
A: All of these are GREAT ideas, and if it was a different child, I'd try some of these! Unfortunately, though James is 4 1/2, he doesn't really understand that one thing is replacing another. For instance taking him shopping for sippy's or a toy he wouldn't get the connection between that and the bottle. Also, who knows what kind of cup he'd choose, or whether it's even one he could figure out how to use... But I love the creativity here! The cut nipple we MAY try, simply because it may make him not want the bottle, but I'm not sure that it would be any help in getting him TO take any of the other cups...
For now, we are giving James a choice of a sippy (which has no spout and just pours right out, so he only has to tip it for now, not figure out how to suck it out) and a straw cup (with a regular disposable straw, or sometimes a juice box with the tiny straw, but nothing with a valve like regular sippy cups). He has Pediasure in each of them and they've been on his tray for Lunch, Dinner, and now Breakfast. He will occasionally pick one up, act like he's going to drink, then put it down. He knows HOW to do these, but has only done them one or two sips at a time ever... because he's stubborn :).
I went to the GI doctor yesterday and also had speech therapy for James. Both agree that he needs to just have it put in front of him and left, with h im in his chair, and he'll decide to drink it after a while when he's really hungry. Until then, he'll ignore it. So... that's what it is for now. He's not so happy about it, but he's not upset either... unless I try to help him take a sip :) Then he's furious! LOL It's actually almost comical how quickly he can trade between playing and realizing what's happening and being MAD.
And so... I look forward to posting a picture of my BIG BOY with his new big boy CUP whenever he decides that he would like to drink!
(PS: We are monitoring for dehydration and he has a mini-button (gtube) so we will give him water as necessary to keep him hydrated if he decides not to drink for an extended period of time. No worries, he's not going to starve!! But he also won't be getting the bottle back. YES, I have to keep telling myself that because if he doesn't drink I have NO idea what we're going to do if we don't just give it back! LOL)