4.10.2007

Confessions of a Horrible Parent

My name is Gouda and up until yesterday, my 4-year-old son still used a pacifier.

There, I said it.

You are probably wondering why I've committed such a transgression of parental guidance and authority, why I've created the near certainty of the exorbitant expense of braces in a child whose bite is now looking considerably altered by the regular sucking of an artificial nipple. Well, I'll just say this:

Until you have met the force of nature that is my boy, I don't think you'll ever quite understand the level of wrath which we were attempting to avoid by letting him have this one. little. thing. It's not that he's spoiled or anything. It's that he has the occasional ability to make our brains bleed, and even though he's cute and stuff, between his father and I we've probably shed enough A-positive to fill an entire blood bank.

I've probably alluded to this in the past, but Elias is a stubborn child who refuses to do anything for which he isn't absolutely ready. Unlike his sister, whose will is about as easily manipulated as a can of fresh Play-Doh, my son digs in his heels and makes mules jealous. No amount of bargaining, yelling, or threatening to extinguish his lifeforce will make him yield before he is prepared. When he was potty training a mere 7 months ago, he proved to us through dozens and dozens of soiled pairs of underwear that he, and no one else, was master of that domain.

So imagine my surprise after over two years of on again/off again pacifier interventions when yesterday Elias removed the plug from his mouth, proclaiming it "yucky" and telling me that I needed to throw it away. After that, he hasn't asked for it since. He slept great, and the crutch that has supported the entire family through years of Elias-style maelstroms of frustration, indignation, and impatience has suddenly become a non-entity.

I'm not so much concerned about how he's going to cope with those emotions as how the rest of us are going to. My cerebral cortex is quivering and weeping. It was just nice enough for Elias to finally initiate his own treatment since his parents seemed otherwise incapable. I suppose we ourselves needed our own intervention.

15 comments:

  1. Funny... I said the same thing two years ago. lol

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  2. My daughter's going to be 2 soon. On her second birthday, I'm throwing all the binkies away. I'll deal with the crying for a few days.

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  3. I got so very lucky. My son never really liked them to begin with. I did however have to wean him from eating dirt. Cheers!!

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  4. Matt-Man -- at least there is some nutritional value there. Minerals! ;) My three-year-old cousin still eats dog food.

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  5. I hope it's not the tainted kind!!

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  6. My mom often tells the story of trying to get me off the pacifier. Don't remember how old I was. Mom told me we were going to take the pacifiers to the baby ducks in the pond since I was a big girl and had outgrown them. (Now I'm thinking - great job, Mom! Teach your child to litter!) We threw the ceremonial paci into the pond, drove home, and I asked for a pacifier. Mom said we'd given them to the baby ducks, but I told her I knew there were plenty in the drawer.

    Yep, I agree, there's no sense making life hellish if your child will do something on his own in time. I tell Harrison every day how tired I am of changing poopy diapers, but strangely enough, that's not enough to get him potty trained.

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  7. Personally I am a big fan of at least attempting to give the child space to decide when they are ready for something. When I was two or three I decded I didn;t want diapers anymore and that was that so I know it works... in some cases at least. Lol!

    I think you must be doing something right to have such a personality on your hands!!! ;)

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  8. My son is over 3 and not potty trained yet. He just laughs when I ask him if he wants to sit on the potty.

    Yeah, I get where you're coming from.

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  9. Yay for the end of the pacifier era!

    My kids never really got into the whole Binkie thing. Their teeth have been ruined by genetics.

    Ian

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  10. He'll grow up to be a Pacifist with a crooked smile because of you...

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  11. I am not a parent so there is not much I can say. But I do seem to be the only one that my nieces and nephew respect when it comes to discipline.

    -N

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  12. I'd like to add this Paci-tude to the list of other things we have in common.

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  13. When my twins were babies a friend and I created the Malcom X school of parenting. Our motto was, of course, "By any means necessary," and our one firm belief was that whatever gets you through the day and makes it so the kids are still alive at bedtime is a good thing. (My babies are now teenagers and these days I'm using "any means necessary" to avoid killing them. The challenges change, but the fun never stops!)

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  14. Do you ever stop to wonder how you gave birth to two children with such different temperaments?

    Mother Nature is a mad scientist! Though I can't help but wonder if Elias's stubborn nature favors his mother's side a bit more...

    Hmm? LOL

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  15. P.S. Forgot to tell you how GREAT you look in that pic. Hot. :)

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