Dear dummy fairy, I’ve seen you peering in the nursery window. I caught you trying to open the emergency dummy drawer (as if you could with your puny fairy arms!). I’m sorry I slammed your wing in the car door when I’d just put my baby in his seat. But you have to understand – I’m not ready to give up the dummy yet. So FLIT OFF!
I know you’re bitter because I’ve never used your services before. When my first child was due for his dummy-ectomy, we went cold turkey – no dummies, no fairy stories, no problem. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate your work, but your advertising campaign just hadn’t reached me then, as a first-time mum. Then – and I know you still haven’t forgiven me for this – child number 2 didn’t have a dummy! Just not interested. So I see why you’re harassing me with my third baby. I’ve heard you whispering, “My precious” like the Gollum of the Nursery, preparing to dart in when my baby drops a dummy overboard. You’re pretty clever, too, putting words into the mouths of people around me – even my own husband: “Don’t you think it’s time he gave up the dummy now?”
OK, I’ll admit it: I use a dummy because it makes my life easier. Well, quieter at least. I don’t use it all the time, but sometimes it just…helps. This may make me a bad mum. But let me ask you this, oh fancy- and baby-free flitterer:
Have you ever reached the check-out after an emergency supermarket shop to have your baby kick off in the trolley while your older two play dodgems in the fishfinger aisle?
Have you ever driven for six hours to your in-laws with a child that is too young for the IPad?
Have you ever had so little sleep you’ve felt like driving yourself into a wall?
Admittedly, I could manage all that, if I really had to, without the dummy. But the real reason that I want you to flit off is because…I’m not ready to let go of my baby yet. He’s my last one. His mouth will be the last one that I can pop a dummy into and savour the immediate comfort it gives him as I cuddle him before bed. He’s just turned 18 months and I’m finding it hard to come to terms with not ever having a baby in the house any more.
Rationally, I know it’s time to bin the binkies – especially after all those links you sent me (thanks!) about how dummy use can stunt emotional growth, hinder speech development and forever preclude my child from being able to play the bassoon. Believe me, I’ve got a waiting list for things to feel guilty about running into 2015, so there was really no need.
Yes, my head says it’s time to go. But my heart says, please go. Please, Dummy Fairy, go: get your mates Tooth and Sugar Plum, and take that holiday you’ve always dreamed of. Go and visit Tinkerbell in NeverNever Land. You can come back in a few weeks.
But for now, just give me this moment. Let me let go of my baby’s “baby phase” in my own time. To you, a dummy is a prize, a victory, a triumph. To me, it is the symbol of my baby’s fleeting babyhood.
If you like my blog, perhaps you could consider me for a nomination?