Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Dummy Debate

I never knew what a heated debate surrounds the use or non-use of dummies, pacifiers, soothers, or whatever else these are called. I never realised that it seems to be culture-dependant. I also never thought I would want to get one. Our son has a pacifier. Built-in. He uses it whenever he needs it. And it really is not our call.

Looking through parenting websites (an activity I have finally cut down on heavily) it occurred to me this is a very hot topic. Somehow it stirs arguments between people who have never met or seen each other. Interestingly, however, Polish websites abound in the 'do not let your child suck his thumb!' articles. I have not seen that many on English language websites, but maybe it's just that I stopped looking. Some time ago a woman on the bus looked at our son, who was happily sucking his fingers, and asked: 'Poor thing, did you loose your pacifier?'. We did not want to go into the debate. A few days ago someone, on finding out we do not own a pacifier, commented: 'You're going to have a nervous child'. We did not want to argue. So I'm really writing this post just to get it off my chest. Our son is a relaxed little man. He has a pacifier. You can see it on the picture.

He discovered his fingers when he was about three months old. Until then it was hard, at times. It was hard to hear him cry, when we didn't know what was going on. When we knew he wasn't hungry or wet. We made sure we have checked everything, but we still didn't know and he was upset. We knew that the only thing we had to offer were our arms, our presence. But then - that is what we would offer to each other. There are, and there always will be, bad days, moments of anger or frustration. I want my friends to be there for me. Not to try and stop me from crying - I feel really so much better after a good cry.

Then there were those familiar fingers, more controlled, his own. Sometimes our son has trouble falling asleep - then he uses his fingers to help him out a bit. Sometimes that's not enough, then he calls for us. Then we know that he needs us. But this is his amazing first step towards being independent - he can have some control over his feelings. It's not us who decide when to cry and when to stop.

A few days ago Antek rolled over and hit his head. A second later he put his fingers in his mouth, and before we knew it he was ready to roll around happily. I was bursting at the seams. It was pretty impressive to see his six-month old independence.

Of course he still cries sometimes. We try to look for the reasons, understand what is wrong. But if we can't...well, we all need to cry sometimes. So we give him what we think we would need in a moment like this - ourselves.

A beautiful post on this is here.

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