We are working on ending Wyatt’s unhealthy relationship with his pacifier. By “working on it”, I mean fretting, planning and procrastinating. Today I had the grand idea of going to the zoo. I dragged my sweet, patient cousin, who has two small children, along for the adventure. It’s an overcast Friday morning. Weather channel says no rain until afternoon. Should be a perfect day for the zoo!
Sat in traffic for a good long while, it starting raining, and then as we got off at the exit for the zoo, traffic crawled to a stop. Apparently every single person, and everyone they have ever met, decided to go to the zoo today. Where in the hell do all of these people come from?! One of the major perks of working 3 twelve hour shifts is that I get some weekdays off where it is generally less busy at places like the zoo. As I wait in the long line of traffic I curse my poor decision, the crappy parking, the people in charge of putting out the “parking full” signs, the weather people and humanity in general. I oscillate between telling myself, “it will be fine, we will go and see what we can see. If it doesn’t last long oh well. I can do this” to “oh my god! What the hell was I thinking? This is going to be a nightmare! Crowds, rain and toddlers?! I can’t do this!” My wiser cousin made the decision to count our losses and head to OMSI instead, which was still busy, but we pretty easily found parking. While at OMSI, hanging out in the toddler play area, Wyatt carries his “softy” which is a 12×12 square fleece blanket with a soft loop of ribbon sewed on one end. My mom made 4 of them after we all grew tired of constantly searching all the ends of his blanket for the one small tag. Wyatt LOVES his softies. He is noticeably the only child amongst the swarm of toddlers to have a softy and a pacifier. He used to be pretty good at only having his pacifier during sleep, but has since regressed to having it all of the time. He doesn’t however, have his pacifier at daycare, so I think my new Operation Bink-Be-Gone will entail hiring about 8 bink-free toddlers to have around the house to provide distraction and peer pressure. Why don’t we just take it from him and be done you ask? Here is a little glimpse as to why:
On the way home from OMSI, he took his pacifier out to drink some milk. He couldn’t find it after. I was sure it was in his car seat somewhere, but I couldn’t reach back to find it because I was driving and trying to keep him safe from a fiery crash and all of that. He calls his pacifier his “Mimi”, not sure why. Once he realized it wasn’t immediately available after his sip of milk, he started frantically calling to it. “Mimi?….Mimi?…….MIMI?!?!?!!!”I tried talking him through how to find it, about how patience is a virtue, about the laws of science and how I don’t have Go-Go Gadget arms. I feel like my words of advice fell on deaf ears. Wyatt lost his damn mind. He switched back-and-forth between ugly crying, his face all blotchy and red; and mournful whines for his long-lost friend Mimi. This continued for 35 minutes. The longest 35 minutes of my life. As I go between calming words and losing my shit and saying “that is quite enough! Pull yourself together! You’re being ridiculous!” I think to myself, “Have I already destroyed his coping skills? He seriously can’t cope with losing his bink for a few minutes? Is this the pivotal point in his life that will make him turn to a life of drugs and loose women?”
Right before we got off the freeway he stops crying and ends up in an exhausted daze, face all red and puffy like he’d been stung by 20 angry bees. At some point during his tirade I figured maybe this was it, maybe this would be the first 35 minutes of his several-day Mimi withdrawal. What better time than now? Then, seconds away from home, he found it on his own and plopped it into his mouth, happy as a clam. You know where his Mimi was? In his lap. The whole damn time. Now we get to start this process all over when we finally muster up the courage to follow through. If in ten years down the road you see a preteen with a pacifier, it’s probably Wyatt and you will know that we have failed.
The main lesson so far that I have taken away from being a parent, is that I am completely full of shit. So many times I have yelled out empty threats that, if carried through, would really only punish my husband and I.
“Throw your food again and you’re going straight to bed!” Doesn’t work on a two year old.
“That [insert annoying you here] is missing, I don’t know where it went.”
“Daddy’s phone is broken”
“The lawnmower is sleeping, we will see it later.”
“Keep it up and you’re not going to Grammy and Poppi’s”, hahahahaha yeah right.
All those times I rolled my eyes at my mom for her sudden, frantic cleaning spurts-throwing all the windows open despite the cold so we can “get some fresh air”, saying she was going to throw ever-single-thing left on the floor away if we didn’t pick it up…I totally get it now. Mom, I’m sorry.