Way back in the old days, before the world realized that water is actually good for you, children were not allowed to have very much of it. At nighttime, I’d have to beg for a sip of water. During the school day, there were three fountains for 326 students, and we could only use them for a brief moment to get a sip of lukewarm, slobbery wetness before a bell would ring and you’d wipe your chin and run. If you wanted a drink during class time, they answer was a definite NO. Probably because then you’d want to go to the bathroom, which was also not allowed during school hours, which was likely the same reason that I couldn’t have any water at night. In the 1970s and 80s, grownups were apparently very concerned that children were going to pee too much and interrupt other things (sleeping or sentence-diagramming) by said peeing. There was no such thing as water bottles unless you were on the basketball team, and then there were six to share amongst everyone.
Those days are gone. Now we’re all supposed to drink, at minimum, 43 gallons of water a day - peeing be damned. In fact, doctors recommend sitting on the toilet and ingesting water with a beer funnel if you have the time. My children get sent home with desparate pleas from their teachers to “PLEASE SEND WATER BOTTLE!” I don’t get this need for all children to have a potential spilly, leaky, wet thing on their little desks, but it’s probably just the era I was raised in. Keep in mind that gum, shorts and ball caps were a huge threat to proper education back then as well.
Anyway, in order to keep child protective services out of it, I send water bottles. And, even before the big BPA scare of ’08, I figured that mushy plastic capable of absorbing sharpie ink was probably not super good for their cute little livers, so I sprung for obnoxiously expensive stainless steel. Besides looking like nifty shiny thermoses, they’re great for making all kinds of noise. Perfect for school. And, they worked just fine until the linebacker started middle school. He came home the first day and said he could no longer use the sweet silver bullet-shaped bottle.
The ensuing discussion confirmed that I am probably not really all that qualified to be a parent.
Kid: Mom, they said I can’t use this water bottle at school.
Me: Why not? It was completely expensive and BPA-free! Also, did I tell you that it was completely expensive? Oh, I get it. This is like that stupid peanut butter shit, isn’t it? Some weenie in your class is allergic to stainless steel.
Kid: No, it’s because it’s not see-through. It has to be clear. I guess they don’t want us to bring beer to school or something.
Me (ruffling his hair): Oh you, Silly. That’s not it at all. You can’t bring beer to school because it is carbonated. You should only take hard liquor to school, and then something clear, like vodka. You have so very much to learn, sweetie.
Kid: Um, I want Daddy to drive me to school from now on.