My little Chop, at two and half has been a hardcore dummy addict for most of his life. That’s a ‘soother’ or a ‘pacifier’, I think, for the non-Aussies. The Chop was given a dummy by a midwife when he was 24 hours old. I had buzzed her, desperate- why would this small, undeniably cute but wriggling, screaming child not sleep? Surely 4 hours was a very long time for a newborn to have been awake….?
“Do you have any objections to a dummy?”
Erm… I think, maybe, I did have, at one stage. Whatever. Right now I just needed to get my exhausted, battered body and muddled mind off to sleep.
The Chop slept for three blessed hours that night, with his dummy firmly plugged in his mouth. It was one of the longest stretches of sleep he had for the next eight months. And he and his precious ‘dodie’ were, from that point on, the best of friends. When he stopped breastfeeding at fourteen months old, he got really attached to it. And after his sister was born, when he was 21 months old, it almost broke my heart to see how much he needed that comfort when my hands were otherwise full.
Despite all the very positive things his friend the dodie did for him, the Chop was showing all the signs of a serious addiction. He wanted his dummy all the time. He would get agitated if he could see it but couldn’t get to it. He’d even tell me about the adventures of his dodie when he got from Mummy’s Respite Day While The Chop Plays With The Nice Ladies At The DayCare Centre.
And me? I’m the enabler. As many dramas as the silly thing caused it if got lost, dirty, broken, or- heaven forbid- forgotten, I just couldn’t bring myself to take away the cheap, multi-colored piece of plastic that bought the little guy so much comfort.
So imagine my surprise when we picked him up from Mummy’s Respite Day and discovered he hadn’t had his dodie all day. Even for a sleep.
“Do you think, if the dummy fairy came and bought you a present, she could take your dodies away? You’re a big boy now, you don’t need them anymore. Maybe the fairy will take them for some babies who need them?”
The Chop looks at me. He’s sizing me up, estimating the strength of my resolve and how much bargaining room he has to wiggle around in. I’m sure of it.
“Fairy come, take dodies, bring chocolate eggs?”
OK, kid, deal-io. I can’t argue with that.
Best of luck, Man, sourcing chocolate eggs at this time of year. But hey, you volunteered to fetch the bribery.
Long story, short (not… really?) the dummy fairy will be visiting us in the Purple House just as soon as the Chop wakes up from his nap, or the Man gets home from work with the required
I’ll let you know how the trade off goes.
And I’m not 100% sure how I feel about trading a comfort object for food. Surely that can’t be healthy….?
I’ll have to think on that one a bit more. I’ll let you know how that goes, too.