Those are pewter stirrup cups, which I'd never heard of until we became customers of a local store. Apparently they originated in the English fox hunting tradition, which seems completely inappropriate as a baby gift, but this is the South - if you can engrave it, it makes a great baby gift. So, years ago, we picked out stirrup cups for our boys and gave them as Christmas gifts.
I thought they would stay in a cabinet with the rest of the "baby silver" until my mother-in-law made an off-hand comment that made me reevaluate. When she gave me some of my husband's baby silver, it was clear that it had not been safely tucked away. The little bowls and cups had dents, teeth marks, and an imperfect polish. My mother in law explained, without realizing that she was shocking me, that all of it had been used: chewed on, dropped, washed, filled with food and drink. Used. And yet, it still looked beautiful. It actually felt more valuable. I'd never thought about that before. I had assumed that nice things like silver should go in the cabinet with my other nice things, saved for an imaginary future when my house would look like a magazine and I would throw fancy dinner parties. (Outside, no less.)
I don't know why I thought that. My own mother uses her nice things. I suppose I just didn't feel grown up enough to do it myself. Ridiculous.
Epiphany: I should use our nice things now.
Sure I used plastic (BPA free, don't freak) items most of the time with my kids, but I also used the silver spoons, cups, and bowls that they received as baby gifts as - well - spoons, cups and bowls. We used them, and they are just fine.
Thanks for the reminder, toothbrush cups.
Maybe you can pull some of "the nice stuff" out of storage and find a way to use it this summer? Do you already? Would love to hear about it.
I am enjoying the William Morris Project at Pancakes and French Fries. You should visit. This summer, I am making way for beautiful, by: