My earliest memory is forever linked with a clown bottle filled with strawberry quick – you know, the kind that came in a tin can.
I vaguely remember Dad carrying me from my bedroom into the kitchen placed on the floor as I drank strawberry milk from my clown faced bottle. As he set me down I could see Mom busy in the kitchen. The drink was about to run out so I walked to Mom, pulled at her skirt and handed her the bottle.
“Más?”, she asked.
Mom took the bottle, rinsed it, and put it on the kitchen counter. She opened the cupboard and took out a small tin can. I smiled and clapped as I watched her take a spoonful of pink powder from the tin can and mix it with some milk in a cup, then pour it into my bottle. As she handed me back the bottle, she smiled and said, “Ya mero vas a estar muy grande para tomar teta.” (Translation: “You’re getting too big, it’s almost time for you to stop drinking out of a bottle.” The smile on my face vanished momentarily but returned as soon the bottle was back in my hands.
Years later while reminiscing with Mom I told her about this memory. She couldn’t believe how much I remembered! She confirmed that I did have a clown faced bottle in which she served me strawberry milk and that I was about two years old when this happened. Apparently this is the exact moment she decided to wean me off the bottle and that was one of the last times she let me drink out of a bottle. Perhaps that’s why I don’t remember drinking a bottle again; in fact I can’t stand the taste of strawberry milk!!! However, to this very day the smell of strawberry quick transports me back into that moment as if it were happening before my very eyes.