My twins, Stella and Cooper, have this remarkable and truly unique talent. When either myself or my partner are left to do dinner alone, they turn it on. And by "it on", I mean they transition from adorable angels to sheer mealtime monsters!
Their cups fly across the room, spag bol lines the recently polished floors, and previously white walls become food art exhibits. I, without a hint of exaggeration, usually end up rocking myself to sleep in the corner of the room with a box of tissues and a bottle of wine.
That was until very recently. As if all my prayers had been answered, out of the sky dropped my new mealtime savour. Not all superheros wear capes. Some, like the No Knock Cup by Tommee Tippee, come in toddler-proof cup form.
The open top cup was developed with CleverGrip™ technology. Don't know what that means? Either did I. It means that the cup stays strong as clumsy toddler arms come flying its way, but it lifts up easily for tiny hands! This means no more accidental dining table destruction, no more sticky floors, and yes… no more mid-dinner meltdowns over spilt milk. I'll be honest, I was dreading the day my twins decided to move from sippy cups to an open lid, but now I'm genuinely excited about it. The No Knock Cup is helping them learn how to drink from an open cup will simultaneously giving me the time needed to figure out how to get that beetroot soup stain off the ceiling.
The No Knock Cup is truly toddler proof. Now if only I can do that same thing to every other product and aspect in my life!
The NO-KNOCK Cup is available in Coles stores across Australia. But you better hurry up and grab some before I purchase all the stock they have!
- Sean Szeps
Question: What originally inspired you to share parenting experience on your blog, Bringing Up Gaybies?
Sean Szeps: When I first found out that I was going to be a father, I struggled to find answers to questions that pertained to my unique situation. While gay parents and parents via surrogacy are not uncommon, I was shocked how little writing had been done to address our specific needs. The moment I realised there was a void, I set up the blog and started writing that week. People need to see themselves represented in the media if they are going to gain confidence and pride in what they are doing, so this is my way of helping future parents.
Question: Can you tell us about the Tommee Tippee No-Knock Cup?
Sean Szeps: The No-Knock Cup is the closest thing to magic I've ever found in the parenting space. Without a hint of exaggeration, it has to be the greatest addition to the parenting product community in the last decade or so. Some evil genius has invented a cup that doesn't knock over. Their CleverGrip™ technology grips to any smooth surface, resists accidental knocks to prevent mealtime spills, and lifts up easily. I'll be honest, I was dreading transitioning my boy-girl toddler twins to big kid cups. These cups encourage open-cup drinking but eliminate the nasty mess. Plus, it's 300ml, so you don't have to worry about refilling it all the time.
Question: How has your twin toddlers responded to the Tommee Tippee No-Knock Cup?
Sean Szeps: They really enjoy tapping the sides and lifting them straight up into the air. I reckon they also like the fact that I'm not constantly saying "be careful" and "go slowly", so it must feel like a big step in achieving independence!
Question: What inspired you to become an ambassador for Tommee Tippee?
Sean Szeps: I try to be really careful with the products I align myself with. Having worked in advertising my entire career, I know the importance of believing in the products you promote. For me, it's about high-quality, beautiful designs, and simplicity of use. If I wouldn't post about the brand without the partnership, then I simply would be doing my followers (and the brand) a disservice. I usually ask to trial the product for a 30-day period before attaching my name to the brand. When Tommee Tippee approached me, I was already in love their products - especially their Soother and Transition Cups - so I knew it was a natural, honest fit.
Question: What advice do you have for new parents?
Sean Szeps: Prioritise "me" time from the very beginning - seriously, week one. The key to success and sanity is remaining connected to your partner and confident in your daily decisions. Allowing yourself time to step away from parenting for a solo movie or weekly date night will go a long way in your happiness and health. We often lose ourselves a bit those first few years, but we don't have to. If you build it time to remind yourself why you took this step in the first place and who you were before you had children, you'll be a better parent for it. I promise.
Question: Can you share your must-have items for new parents?
Sean Szeps: Anything that saves you time and energy. Parenting a newborn is quite a mundane, tedious experience. You need to save time here-and-there so that you can enjoy the moments of nothingness. The Perfect Prep Day & Night machine from Tommee Tippee prepares a bottle in 2 minutes, so that's a must-purchase. I'd also invest in anything from The Gro Company. Their Grobags, Grorompers and Groswaddles with zippers make for easy late-night changings, their GroClock makes sleep training a lot less stressful, and their Groegg ensures your room is the perfect temperature so you won't stress about your babies being too hot or too cold.
Question: And, must-have items for parents of toddlers (especially twins!)?
Sean Szeps: Toddlers make a massive mess as they learn independence and start experimenting with defying you. The easy-to-clean Luxe Play Mats from Munchkin & Bear are true lifesavers that happen to be gorgeous. Tommee Tippee also have super suction plates that make mealtime less messy. And, of course, you can't go wrong with the Roll & Go Bibs from Tommee Tippee. In fact, you'll regret not owning half a dozen of them!
Interview by Brooke Hunter