I understand the need for a pacifier.  Sort of.  Yes, the sucking reflex soothes babies.  With the undeveloped brain firing off a limited number of primitive requests, the sucking action onto said “plug”, nipple, bottle, or ever lasting gobstopper functions to satiate both the infant mind and body.  The motion effectively helps newborns cope with the cold, cruel world they are unmercifully pushed into.

But when do you take the “paci” away?  Some parents don’t care to remove it from usage.  These kids grow up to become finger and, if flexible enough, toe sucking adults.  (If left untreated, these adults will revoltingly desire to nibble on their friends’ and families’ digits.)  Other parents take away the pacifier too early and the child never emotionally develops past the second grade.  (Just kidding…maybe.)

The wife and I are in two separate camps on the pacifier.  She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Worm using it until he can swap the pacifier for cigarettes.  I think it should have been dropped after Worm hit the 12-month mark.  We couldn’t agree on a solution, so the safe thing for me to do at the time was leave well enough alone.

But during a recent dinner discussion of current events (Cyprus bankruptcy,  North Korea missiles, and baby pacifiers), I felt the urge to raise the plug question from the dead.

“I’m ready to toss out the pacifier.  Worm’s two years old today.  He doesn’t need it anymore.” I asked.  (This is a very effective way to ask a question and get the answer you desire, especially if the other party doesn’t reply.)  After much back and forth, the wife and I were left hot and bothered.  (No, sadly not the good kind of hot and bothered.)

I don’t know what happened later that same evening, but Hell may have frozen over.  I was granted one opportunity to remove the Worm’s pacifier on his birthday.  Hence, I gave him his first birthday un-present.  (I’m sure there will be more un-presents in the future, especially if he becomes one of those kids that whines about how lame his gifts are and how Jimmy John across the street got something way better…)

Anyhow, I took my chance.  In putting the Worm to bed that night, I swiped the plug, turned out his lights, and closed the door.  He fumbled around in the dark looking for it for about 2 minutes.  He screamed and fussed for a few minutes more and that was the end of it.

Now we’re going on the third night in a row with no withdrawals.  Worm’s adjusted well.  His coping mechanisms have matured as much as he has.  A couple books and a shot of rum are all it takes to get the boy to sleep.  Well done, son!

Gavin – 23; Dad – 12 (You get a point for showing a little maturity for your age!  And I’m giving myself a point for convincing your mother to give this a try.  I think she was more attached to the pacifier than you were.)

Worm, You Can't Carry a Concealed Pacifier Without a Permit!

Worm, You Can’t Carry a Concealed Pacifier Without a Permit!