Pretty much since my kids were born, I've had them eat on plastic (melamine) plates. One year, I used my birthday money to purchase some seahorse plates and bowls that I found on clearance at Target. I picked up a few more at garage sales over the years that we've been using for nine years now.
Recently, I realized that my kids are getting older. Well, actually, I've known it for some time. Growing up means so many things--in a practical sense. First, it's growing out of sippy cups to regular cups and it's growing out of baby bowls to regular plastic dishes and then on to ceramic dishes.
I find these transitions stressful. Spilt cups of milk or juice, potentially broken dishes. It's stressful to me. We all have thresholds of what we can handle and cope with.
At our house, we have a box of plastic cups that won't be going away any time soon. But, my husband and I knew it was time for the kids to start using ceramic dishes.
Our main set of white dishes are two sets of Pfaltzgraff Gazebo that I bought eighteen years ago. Half of the bowls have broken over the years, though. So, we knew we needed bowls for the kids to eat out of. It's the dish we use most in our home. At a nearby kitchen store We found some white bowls for a dollar each. We bought 9--three sets of three since we have three children. We bought a few extra--room for breakage!
Then, last Saturday, I found a set of white china dishes from West Germany. It was a mishmashed set with a different number of bowls, large plates, serving bowls, creamer and sugar set. It's rather funny really. There were 4 large plates, 1 small plate, 8 tea cups and saucers, 4 very small bowls, 6 medium bowls, 5 soup bowls, a gravy boat, a creamer and sugar dish. But, for $3, that was okay with me.
They came home with me that morning and after being washed, joined our other white dishes. They fit right in.
I've been surprised that so far no dishes have been broken. The kids have liked the different size bowls and things are going well. It hasn't been as hard as I expected--for them or for me!