Monday, 6 February 2012

Boy, Does it Suck

In our NCT class for our firstborn, was an exercise involving the teacher reading out statements. We were asked to stand by the wall if we strongly agreed, or by the window if we strongly disagreed. Since partners were free to choose independently, it mostly unearthed pre-parental panic that one's Other Half was more often than not at the complete opposite end of the room.

One of the statements was 'I will consider giving my baby a dummy'. On hearing it, I was so far at the window end I was practically on the street. Luckily The Husband was with me on that one and we stood united in our judgment: we thought they were ugly, we thought they were chav, we thought they were cheating.

Fast forward to our son at age 4...still needing a dummy to get to sleep (ahem).

In yer face Judgement. Hello Irony. So how did we get from our slightly smug A to such an unlikely B?

Well...our boy was not the best sleeper, and beyond six months old was still having to be jiggled, rocked or paced about with if there was any hope hed drop off not the best for the old lumbar spine given that he was off the percentile charts in the first place.

One particularly bloody awful Saturday, sleep deprived, ratty and minus The Husband who was gallivanting in North Wales on a stag do, I spontaneously U-turned my Maclaren - and its screaming contents - into a Boots I happened to be passing and bought a dummy there and then. I ripped open the packaging and popped it in, fully expecting there to be some weaning onto it required. Apparently not. He took hold of it like that baby out of The Simpsons and for the next 20 minutes he sucked so hard he created a ring of redness around his lips. But he was quiet and he was happy. And so was I apart from the lurid ugliness of the darn thing. So, I texted The Husband to inform him of my Executive Decision and its happy conclusion (who incidentally didnt give a toss since he himself was merrily pacified with around eight pints at the time) and from then on in we enjoyed weeks, which became months, which became years of really quite manageable bedtimes.

We swore we'd wean him off it at two. And then our daughter was born (so instead we just gave her one as well). We promised we'd do it at two and a half, then three then every month after that, but each time something would pop up on the calendar which made it a tad inconvenient to fit dummy weaning around, so we'd put it off again. The Husband and I were all too aware this was now as much of a crutch for us as it was for the boy, but we were addicted to the easiness. For under a fiver it bought us all sanity and none of us were willing to go cold turkey.

But a couple of weeks ago, we DID do it. And Irony came back to say Hello. Because it was really pretty easy. And of course I'm delighted, I feel free, I feel a big box ticked.

But most importantly, this little 4 year experience has taught me:
  • I must try not to judge
  • Smugness comes with karma
  • I must try not to worry about things before they've happened (the day I nail this one, The Husband will reach a state of ΓΌber happiness)
  • If we have another child I must, without question, give them a dummy from the off

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