I'm pleased to report that Betsy came up with a gimmick that (fingers crossed) seems to have done the trick. While visiting her parents last weekend, she decided to announce to Kevin that "The bottle fairy has come and taken all of your bottles." When this was met with the expected cries of protest from Kevin, Betsy had a ready answer: "The bottle fairy had to take the bottles to the poor babies." (Kevin had once asked why Betsy was packing away his old clothes into a big box and she told him it was "for the poor kids.")
This morning was the first time, away from grandma and grandpa's house, in which the "bottle fairy" theory was put to the test. Kevin protested a little more than usual - despite being visibly impressed with the new construction truck sippy cup the Bottle Fairy left him as a consolation prize.
I don't think Betsy is out of the woods yet - she senses that Kevin will have more questions about the Bottle Fairy, if this morning's queries are any indication ("Bottle fairy took bib?" "Bottle fairy comes in a car?") But, I feel more confident than ever that she will emerge victorious. And I share this story - with her permission - if any of you moms and dads out there are like her: ashamed to admit your kid's "dirty secret" and desperately looking for a way to kick the habit once and for all.
Then again, I do think there are far worse maladies than a 2 year old drinking milk from a bottle once a day. So there. (That was for you, Betsy.)