Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Her Beloved Choochy

to pacify (verb) : placateappeasecalm (down)conciliatepropitiateassuagemollifysoothe.

a pacifier (noun) : a means to child dependency and oral fixation

Do you see the distinction?

Ahhh yes... a mother's peaceful -momental- answer to a fussy crybaby. But is this taken too far? How many times have you seen a walking talking toddler with a "binky" in his/her mouth hindering its speech as it tries to communicate with mommy or daddy? It drives me bonkers and all I can think is what are you doing?!?! It's one thing to have a crying baby on your hands, when food or being held isn't the question. And hey, if it works to calm them down, why not?! But after a while you have to wonder the long-term effect of it all. The dependency of it, the risks. A little rubber and plastic should not be a go-to for your child's discomfort and a substitute for real attention. I believe there should be a one-year limit on pacifiers or you're headed into dangerous territory. I know this now only because I've actually been there.

Aliyah was probably around 2 and a half when I finally put my foot down. For a good while, it even became an expense, one lost, one to replace, one at grandmas, 4 at home, one clipped onto her clothes (you get the picture). I remember being all too impressed with the ones that snapped shut when they fell to the ground. Now, am I buying this for her or am I buying it because it's cool? When your toddler can outright ask for their choochy (our take on the italian ciuciotto -pronounced choo-chetto) is it time to move on? If you have to reason with your child to get rid of it, it's most likely past it's prime and you're now overdue. 

I started to notice on some of her choochys that the nipple was starting to tear at the base. Everyone knows a toddler likes the feeling of accomplishment, so I knew where this would go. I took a pair of scissors and snipped all the nipples at the base so they were one pull away from retirement. Who did the pulling? Aliyah. And who got to throw them in the garbage? Aliyah. Instead of the suffering and confusion of "where did they go?", I let her be an active part of her own transition. She grew up a little the day she threw them in the garbage. She asked for them maybe once or twice after that. All I had to do was remind her of what a big girl she was.


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