9 March 2008

It's MY Pacifier

The dummy, the pacifier, the soother or what I like to call the mute button. Whatever you call it in your home, I'm sure that there will be or has been a constant battle with this little thing.

My twin girls, Amy and Lilly, sleep with theirs at night and sometimes create havoc if they drop it overboard through the slats of their cots if they realise that they don’t have it. During the day is when the battle rages. When it is time for breakfast they take them out and head to the kitchen ready to pile into the first meal of the day. At this point either Emma or I, if I am there, will hide them out of site hoping that they will forget about them and just start playing.

So breakfast is over and we let them back into the lounge so they can play and try to cover every square inch of carpet with some sort of plastic toy. We will try not to make eye contact with them for a while, whistle and sit and look at the ceiling, pretend that everything is normal.

This tactic has about a 50 % success rate. It is great when it works but when it doesn’t, it’s like a mini interrogation and if I am on my own with them I feel very much out numbered. It starts with one word from Lilly and that’s “mini”, or 2 words from Amy “me please” both meaning “Daddy, could I please have my dummy as it doesn’t seem to be where I left it”.

My first reaction is a large sense of failure as the hiding tactic hasn’t worked. My second is to ignore the request and pretend I didn’t hear it. This has about a 2 % success rate. Most of the time they will repeat the request several times (when I say several I mean an infinite amount of time it takes for me to give them an answer).

Okay, I am now at a fork in the road and have to make a decision. Do I take the path of least resistance and get up and just give them their prize or do I go down the route of battle? For this example I battle on and go in for the distraction tactic and will interact with a cool toy, try to make them laugh by running around, crawling on my hands and knees or just throwing them around but not too much in the fear that whatever cereal they had just had 5 minutes before may come out. This little tactic has a good 75 % percent success rate but usually lasts only 5 to10 minutes before the requests start again. So finally I go for desperation and pull out my final tactic and say “I’m sorry they are gone, I don’t know where they are”! This has a 0.5 % success rate and usually ends up with the stereo crying and or screaming. They get what they want.

As you can see the odds are stacked against me and most of the time I end up losing. I think I will converse with Emma now and go for a gradual weaning and have no dummies in the house by the time they are 16.


Rachel said...

Slow weaning seems to have worked best for all of my friends, whose kids have had pacifiers. Neither of mine ever took them, I know I'm so lucky :-).. so I can't give you advice, but I can send you lots of good wishes and positive thoughts for successful paci-weaning! Good luck!

Michael said...

Hi Rachel

Thanks for the comment, I think your right, slow weaning is the way to go a couple of friends have used santa to swap them over for presents. I may go down that route.

Angelika said...

LOL! Poor you.

I never gave my son a pacifier because I didn't want to have to go through the weaning.

He sucked his 2 middle fingers until he started pre-kindergarten. (Age 4). I told him that the other kids might tease him if they saw him sucking his fingers.

So he stopped. Cold Turkey.

I have no help for you, man. Good luck, though!

Mommie said...

Wow, you make me happy that my son never took to a pacifier. But man, there are sure times I WISH he would take that stupid thing:-)

Grass is always greener....


Michael said...

Angelika: Thanks for that LOL

Mommie: Its not all bad, sometimes it's quiet :)