The following is a guest post from the lovely and hilarious Brooke from missteenussr.com. First, let’s all stop and sigh at the gorgeous photo above. *SIGH* Oh my goodness, what a cutie pie! Soothers. They’re a topic that can be incredibly contentious. One particularly long night I tried to introduce a soother to my daughter… no dice. Oh, how I was wishing she would be comforted by that sweet, molded nugget of engineering… but alas, it was not to be. Enjoy Brooke’s post!
Writing a column for this site, a site so magical and wonderful and so necessary that I want to wrap it around me and nap in front of a fire somewhere, has made me think really hard about who I want to be versus who I am.
I want to make parenting decisions without awkwardly writhing internally about others judgment. I want to not judge other’s parenting techniques. I just want to live in a way that leaves me filled with bliss and maybe even let some of that sparkle rub off. I want to re-write this paragraph in a way that doesn’t sound like a Disney princess on her first laptop.
Here’s a very open and visible parenting choice I made, that others must judge me for. My daughter, who just turned three, has just as of last night, stopped using a soother.
The soother. It’s not as highly debated in chat rooms as public breast feeding or boobs in general, but it is a divisive topic. I know I feel guilty about it because my defense, sloppily and quickly blurted out, is always “My mom works in a dental office and she says it’s ok, so it’s ok.” I don’t then follow up by saying as a first time Grandma, she backs up anything and everything involving Stella. Grandmas are so hopelessly blinded by love you could smash their face into a post-bran muffin diaper apocalypse and they wouldn’t blink. Literally. The sh-t would be too condensed on their lashes.
The soother. We used one from the jump. After she was born she would only sleep in our arms, which made our sleep impossible. Sure, that first night I was high on endorphins and hopes and dreams for our future, so sleep could wait. Let’s cuddle under the meager hospital blankets and not think about the yawning maw that is my vagina. Reality and exhaustion and frustration and the ensuing survival mode decisions prompted a soother. That magical miracle plug. The silence machine. Oh, yes, hello you. Welcome to the family.
Flash forward three years later. Dollars spent on soothers: roughly enough for a down payment on a new home in Vancouver. I’m sure when we move one day I’ll find 17 of them buried like bones. This kid mainlined them. Still, no regrets man. She slept and slept well with a soother. She calmed herself down with a soother on long car rides when toddler life proved to be too much to handle. She spent 85% of her day without one, first mewing, then blowing bubbles, spitting, then chattering and finally forming words and now sentences. It hasn’t made her a mute weirdo. Her bite is bang on. Her teeth are not sideways.
Last night though, after some careful thought, at bedtime we pulled the plug. Literally. She sobbed in the dark so daintily, mourning her “sooooooooooooduuuuuhhhhhh” for about 10 minutes. I waited then went into her room, knelt down beside her and we quietly discussed how my very big girl is not a baby anymore and doesn’t need a soother. She respectfully disagreed, but when I tucked her in once more, dried her tears and snot, and turned to leave, there was silence. Real-life silence. That little bow of a mouth, loaded with every story in the world to tell, was quiet and still. I rolled the soother around in my front pocket and sent a tiny thought into the hallway. Goodnight soother. Really and truly, thanks for everything.
So, are you pro or anti-soother? If pro, have you weaned your child off yet? If not, can you learn to love my decision and then can we have coffee together because I’m suddenly very wealthy with this influx of soother petty cash.
Brooke is a mama of one monkey, based out of Vancouver, BC. She blogs about the trials and triumphs of parenting at missteenussr.com. When she’s not obsessing about her lack of DIY skills and exotic face creams, she shares her life and loves via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (@missteenussr).
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