Suckie Sucky

Isaiah in a paci-induced state of bliss

Pacifiers. That one word alone can cause anguish, relief or even confusion for a new mother. I remember when I had my first child. I was young, fun, and ready to embark on my journey of being the best mom ever! I had experience dealing with children so I wasn’t worried about how I’d do as a mom. But one thing that I was unsure of was whether or not to give my new baby a pacifier. Oh, I’d read all sorts of articles, listened to lots of advice, checked out the dos and dont’s, and in the end I decided that my child would be a little soldier who would learn how to comfort himself without the aid of some rubber crutch that would ruin his entire dental future. What I didn’t count on was the fact that my child, and 2 of the 3 who followed after him, would have a serious cry baby problem. I mean, this child literally would NOT…STOP…CRYING!!! Picture me, if you will, afro wild, sleep depraved, staring at my writhing little man-child screaming and red-faced as if his only goal in life were to work my last nerve. I couldn’t take it, I had to do something, and that something was…the pacifier. Oh yes, I plugged up that hole and earned myself a much-needed moment of peace and tranquility. So although I jumped on the pacifier band wagon, my oldest son was done sucking by the age of 1. Not because I worked hard at getting him to quit. No, because he lost his paci in a Walmart shopping cart and I was too cheap and lazy to go back and buy him another one. My daughter’s fixation with her paci ended without too much fuss as well. But then…I had…Isaiah. Oh boy! This child here is the reason why the Perfect Parents point and whisper about me while I am out and about. Their poor glass houses are probably shattered all around them by now and all I can say is SO WHAT. The issue? My son is six years old and he still sucks a pacifier! Oh yeah baby, go ahead and judge me. I don’t give a crap. I have listened to babies crying for as long as I can remember. When I was like 11 my mom and her sister lived together and I got to look after my 14 month old cousin, she did lots of screaming and crying just like most babies her age. Then my aunt had another child and I had 2 little ones screaming and crying. And once I got used to those two, she had another baby and the race to see which one of them could annihilate my last nerve was on! By the time I went to college I felt like a parent abandoning her children. I would come straight home and take them to Chuck E Suck and spend that quality time. Not too long after I met my husband and his daughter and we started having children of our own. And now I’m 35 with a 2-year-old and my last nerve is in critical condition. The point is, I’ve heard a lot of crying, shrieking and wailing over the years and quite frankly, I am beyond trying to endure. I want the quick fix. Plug the hole boys, plug the hole!

Now what I didn’t count on was Isaiah becoming addicted to his pacifier. We have tried taking him off before but he goes into withdrawal and then everybody suffers. So, since I am the one who has to live with this child, I let him suck it. Suck away buddy, I don’t care. Just shut up! Seriously. By now, the Perfect Parents are probably either going into cardiac arrest from the shock or calling into Dr Phil to have me lambasted on air for my renegade ways. But I don’t care. He can suck that thing until he goes away to college and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. Why? I have my reasons…at least 10 of them…and I am willing to give you the low down on it right now…

TOP TEN REASONS WHY I’M TOLD MY CHILD SHOULDN’T SUCK A PACIFIER AND MY LOVING RESPONSES TO THOSE REASONS.

1. PACIFIERS ARE ADDICTING. That’s true, but so is crack. If I had to choose between the two then the pacifier wins! See, I am well on my way to becoming a Perfect Parent just like you!

2. PACIFIERS RUIN YOUR TEETH. Yeah, I could see that happening. Good thing all of his teeth will fall out and grow back in. That gives us a second chance to get this teeth thing right. Besides, the need for braces is prevalent in society now, so why should I suffer just to avoid something that is statistically inevitable?

3. HE’S TOO OLD TO SUCK A PACIFIER. Says who? Who made up the rule on how old a child has to be to stop sucking? At least he is sucking on a pacifier and I’m not still breast-feeding him like some of the weirdo mothers out there who have their nipples in their kids mouths until they hit puberty. Jeez! I really wish people would invest their time in something else, like maybe focusing on their summer toe nail maintenance and leave me and my child alone.

4. SUCKING ON A PACIFIER IS NOT A GOOD LOOK. Neither is morbid obesity but so many people have embraced it. And only one of those will eventually kill you if you don’t change it and I’m thinking the paci is not it. (Side note: I am not a hater of the pleasantly plump. I too have about 2 lbs less than a ton of weight to lose. But I would rather concentrate on conquering that than worrying about whether or not my child or anyone else’s child is sucking on a pacifier. OK, carry on…)

5. PACIFIERS INDUCE TOO MUCH SUCKING. People suck all the time. Literally. They suck thumbs, lollipops, pens, and other stuff that will remain nameless. Some people just suck overall. At least pacifiers are MADE for sucking!

6. PACIFIERS CAUSE SPEECH DELAY. My son talks TOO much. As a matter of fact he can talk in both English and Spanish. Most days I can’t get him to STOP TALKING! So, what’s next?

7. PACIFIERS INHIBIT VOCABULARY. OK, this is a stupid point that I just shake my head at. Really? What actually inhibits vocabulary is ignoring your child and not doing things like reading to them. My child has an excellent vocabulary. He uses words and structures sentences just fine. Sorry but blaming the pacifier for a child’s inability to talk well is putting too much power in that little piece of plastic.

8. SUCKING ON A PACIFIER IS GROSS. Well darling, kids do gross stuff all the time. It is their mission in life for the first three years to find as much stuff as they can that originated on the ground and put it in their mouths. At least if they have a pacifier in it, it might limit their exposure to bacterial infections of the mouth.

9. KIDS WILL MAKE FUN OF HIM. Newsflash. They will make fun of him anyway. Kids are bullies. It’s true and when my baby comes home crying, I will have his pacifier waiting to plug up that hole.

10. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? Hahaha, I love that moniker. People use it all the time to change unwanted behavior. And it usually works. But my guess is, that Jesus is far too busy helping you pick the winning lottery numbers than to worry about my child sucking on his paci.

Did you give your child a pacifier or are you totally against the practice? Leave a comment and tell us all about it.


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