Hello my name is motherventing and my daughter has a dummy.
*sharp intake of breath*
OOOOOH I KNOOOOOW! Isn’t it BAD to give a baby a dummy? Because dummies are like CRACK COCAINE and once you give them a dummy they become OBSESSED and wild-eyed and can’t settle without one. They get the jitters if unattached from their dummy for more than, say, twenty minutes. Moo practically screams at me ‘C’mon, mother, give me the GOOD STUFF’ and claws at my knees until I shove a piece of silky-soft rubber into her gaping mouth-hole.
And if I deny her that little comfort she goes all grey-skinned and twitchy. She hallucinates, and starts eating the furniture*. Then it’s me who caves in and lets her back on it again, even though my every instinct is to keep her away from that awful stuff. I mean, what am I supposed to do? She’s ADDICTED, people. SHE’S ADDICTED TO DUMMIES. She likes them more than cake. Yes, YES – you understand me now.
Dear lord, please give me strength to resist punching people on the street who insist on spouting their own rancid diatribes at me when they feel I have offended their sensibilities regarding some aspect of parenting. Or, FECK OFF TELLING ME HOW TO RAISE MY OWN CHILD.
Yes, my daughter has a dummy. She has several (cot dummy, car dummy, handbag dummy etc) in fact. Yes, I give it to her if she needs soothing. Yes, that may be in the middle of the day. Yes, I realise that her speech may be affected, and that her teeth are likely to GROW AT RIGHT ANGLES TO HER FACE if she sucks on it all the time. Yes, I am fully aware of this and yes, I OBVIOUSLY want to RUIN HER LIFE by continuing to let her have a dummy. Thanks. Thanks for pointing this out, you old knob.
When Moo was born, I spent the first night in hospital totally awake and staring in fascination and dread at her tiny sleeping form. The next night, I still hadn’t slept, and was by this point so desperate for sleep that I BEGGED the midwife on night duty to take Moo away, as she wouldn’t settle unless attached to my breast. Both my nipples were cracked and bleeding by now. I didn’t know what to do. I was seeing things and I was scared I’d drop my daughter or somehow hurt her without meaning to.
The midwife didn’t take Moo away. She lay her on the cot attached to my bed and put my thumb in her tiny mouth. Moo started suckling and went to sleep. I managed three hours which was enough at that time.
So we continued to use our thumbs to comfort her when Moo was small. I was such a fecking snob, I didn’t want to give Moo a dummy because I thought they looked awful. Now I know that I don’t really care what Moo looks like as long as she’s happy. And suckling comforts her. And it’s not convenient to give her my thumb when she needs it. She’d totally bite it off.
So I’ve done a U turn. Dummies are GREAT. I love dummies. They are the reason Moo sleeps from 7pm – 7am pretty much EVERY NIGHT. And naps like a good’un during the day. Sure, I may have a struggle on my hands when I have to wrestle them off her as she gets older, but BRING IT ON.
Can you tell I’m in a fighting mood?
Where do you stand on the whole dummy debate? Promise I won’t shout at you…
*she does actually do this. The furniture eating, I mean. We lost an entire armchair to Moo. She was coughing up sawdust for WEEKS.