Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The Dummy Fairy
The Dummy Fairy visited our house Monday night. She was invited.
This is remarkable stuff because for 3.5 years, Little Red has enjoyed a love affair with her dummies surpassed only by her passion for lollies, Dora and pulling the cat's tail. Actually I would have bet she'd give up all three of the former before the dummy was willingly surrendered.
I blame the nurses at the hospital. It was their fault this whole thing began. As Little Red cried and cried her wrinkled red newborn face off, they said gently "...do you have a pacifier?" I said, NO - of course not!! With the righteous misguidedness of all new mums, there were going to be no dummies in my baby's mouth. (No TV either, no formula feeding, no McDonalds... we all know how those things turn out. ) "We'd recommend you get one," the nurses said.
Oh really? Okay then. I guess.... if I have medical permission?
Of course, as all dummy mummies know, it's not all sweet sailing; until it is, and then it isn't again... and so on. We've had an up and down relationship with the little rubber buggers - literally up and down, some nights.
For the last few years she's actually had five of them in the bed at once, and needed to have one in each hand, and one in her mouth, to fall asleep. Although we phased out daytime dummy use around age 2, night was non-negotiable.
After several hideously stressful aborted attempts at taking them away, and many, many chats about being a big girl, not a baby... and dummy fairies, and comparisons with friends, it all culminated last year in putting our hands in the air, bascially. It wasn't worth the stress.
But Monday night, when I gave Little Red her dummy (sorry, container full of dummies) as usual, she said "I'm a big girl. I don't need it." And put them back.
Then she promptly slept 12 hours through the night, and hasn't asked for them since. (Waking up to a special "treat" from the dummy fairy was icing on the cake!)
Wow. There's nothing like the realisation that inside your son or daughter, beats the heart and will of a fully fledged adult-in-training, already making their own decisions and choosing the path of their lives. The decision to give up the dummy might seem like a small one in the scheme of things, but in the end it was her choice and she made it. It was her victory, and hers alone.
The Dummy Fairy took away a piece of my baby on her gossamer wings... but left behind a very, very proud mum.