Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ignorance is a bliss

We have an ongoing conflict in our house - the Great Pacifier Stand Off. Basically, my daughter only uses it when going to sleep, and at times she demands it when tired. For me it's a great cue that she's ready for bed. For hubby it's a great source of frustration. Unlike me, hubby is a man of rules, and pacifier should have been outgrown about two years ago. I don't approve of the pacie either, but I have yet to see a teenager with a binky. And since my daughter can contain her pacie usage to limited situations, it is not that big of a deal for me. I probably should do more research on this just to make sure. But currently things are in the middle: we want her to stop (without doing much, just the power of persuasion and prayer) and she doesn't want to give it up (without doing much, she's winning, of course.)

That's how thing were until recently. This Sunday my folks took the kids for half a day. At the end, our children were really tired, so naturally my daughter asked for her pacie. We couldn't find one in a car, but she would go on and on and on about getting one, and no amount of reasoning worked. This was when my husband uttered the historical words turning the Great Pacifier Stand Off into a Great Pacifier Battle. He said that since our daughter couldn't be rational about her pacifier, she lost her privilege to use it. And thus pacie was outlawed. And just in case I didn't get the full implication of this, I was told that we both would be in trouble if hubby found DD with pacie upon his coming back from the night class. (Which made me wonder what "trouble" meant for me: extra load of laundry? withholding of dessert? would I be grounded and not allowed to go to work? hmmm...)

Only a few days prior, the entire incident would barely register in my head. I would just nod in all the right places and do whatever seemed right at the moment. But not now. Now I was educated (i.e.completed two out of six parenting classes on a CD only last night), and my educational sources said that No should be No. Backtracking your No is big no-no. Even if made by another parent. Even if made in haste (another parenting no-n0). Even if you don't agree and weren't consulted. Even if you will ultimately pay the price of that No because the big genius and decision maker will be gone to his night class and you will be putting the kid to sleep, the kid who didn't spend a single night of her life without her pacifier.

Getting kids ready to sleep was hard and heartbreaking. My daughter wouldn't cry, she actually figured out that she lost her pacie because of crying, so every so often she would come and say, "Mommy, you see I am not crying, could you please give me my pacie?" But I had to be tough, and I was. I no longer had the freedom to do what seemed right at the moment because now I was educated. Giving in now meant behavior problems/neuroses/life of crime later. I actually started making peace with the situation; sooner or later this had to happen since there was no way DD would give up pacie on her own. Putting the kids to sleep was even harder. DD simply would not fall asleep without her dear pacie, but would lie in bed and quietly cry. Somehow she would also wake up her brother who all of a sudden discovered an overdeveloped sense of compassion. After about an hour I gave up and told the kids that their father would put them to sleep. At least I wasn't giving in and stood my ground in the Great Battle of Pacifier.

Then the decision maker came home. A smile, a hug, a kiss, a strategically well-placed single tear in those big gray eyes, and a solemn promise to never, ever cry about her pacifier again - within five minutes of hubby walking in the door DD got her pacifier back. _________!!!!!! Yes, you got that right. I suffered for two hours, and he gave in almost immediately. To my, "But all the parenting specialists say..." I got, "Parenting education is great (how would you know, you never did any???), but sometimes you have to do what seems right at the moment."

And I had to go along. Even if I didn't agree. Even if I wasn't consulted. Even if I was very tempted to strangle somebody... Because now I was educated...


  1. My kid was never interested in a pacifier. We tried giving it to him, but he'd just spit it out. By spit it out, I mean that when lying on his back and given a pacifier, it would be expelled with enough force to fly up at least an inch.
    He does love his bottle though. Goes to sleep with a bottle and wakes up with a bottle. And bear. And baya (blanky). A not empty bottle can be traded for a cookie.

  2. So many thought on this one, so many questions. However, I'll only allow myself to post the most innocent one: which parenting tapes?

  3. oh, of course. this detail was cut in the editing process as my posts get longer and longer. Rabbi kushnir, highly recommend personally and was highly recommended to me by several people.

  4. feel free to ask all the other questions.


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