Friday, 9 June 2017

Ditching the Dummy

Beautiful dummy less boy
Half way through the year of hope I can tick 4 of 7 off the list thanks to ditching the dummy two weeks ago. As all kids and parents are unique my experience with my child is pretty useless to anyone else. However, if like me you find accounts of dealing with milestones useful in deciding on your own course of action. Or simply take comfort in knowing that you're not alone in the crazy world of toddlers this is for you.

Aside from the benefit of their teeth not growing wonky and actually being able to understand what they are saying. The most exciting prospect of ditching the dummy is having one less thing to remember, lose, drop or, hurrah buy! Gone is the mind boggling frustration of having a thousand clean dummies in the morning then being able to find zero at bedtime. Gone are the moments of sheer horror when you realise the dummy box is still on the kitchen table. Gone is using your mouth as a dodgy steriliser when that one dummy lands on the floor, gets licked by a dog or is taken by another child. I remember mouth washing the only one we had, at the beach. If eating sand is not the greatest statement of unconditional love I don't know what is.
Both my children had a dummy. So I've had to go through all the above twice. However, both enjoyed and got comfort from them so it was worth it for their happiness. Not to mention my sanity. As they grew older the dummy was reserved for sleepy time. Unless they were ill, particularly whiney or I was hungover then the dummy could be negotiated for a little daytime action. Both my kids were more than happy sucking on their plastic gob stoppers so I decided that once teething was finished the dummies days were numbered.
My eldest was 2 years and 3 months when he started biting through them so I had no choice but to get rid immediately. I was bracing myself for at least a week of sleepless nights whilst he cried and screamed searching for his dummies. He asked once and that was that, painless and easy. My youngest was definitely way more attached to his 'dodi' so I knew I needed more of a plan than first time round to prepare him (and me). He was 2 years and 8 months when the fairy visited two weeks ago. Here's how it went;

For a good few weeks before d day we talked about the 'dodi' fairy visiting. At first he resisted but eventually I got him to decide on a suitable exchange. A cake and car was his dodi demand. At every opportunity I would get him to tell people what the fairy was bringing. In my mind it was then a done deal. We'd told everyone about it so I couldn't chicken out and he was involved in the decision so couldn't complain.
On Friday 26th May we left his box of dummies ready for the fairy to collect in the night. Before bed I went to his room to recover the last remaining one from his bed covers. This particular night it was unusually still in his mouth and well and truly clamped shut. 6.30am, dummy in place and a sly smile he appeared in our bedroom. I quickly took it off him and mumbled something about the fairy not being able to get it out of his mouth. He didn't complain (which surprised me) and was excited to go and see what the fairy had left. We headed to the lounge where the dummy box sat empty next to his requested gifts. Thankfully the cake and car hit the spot. Phew.

For three days and nights he persistantly asked / negotiated / whinged when he was tired and going to bed but not once did he cry or get upset. By Monday there were no mention of them. Thursday was a real test, the visit of a child who still had a dummy. I anticipated some secret sucking and possibly stealing but he wasn't the least bit interested and on a chance encounter with her stash I held my breath while he simply counted how many she'd got. I must admit I was a little shocked by the lack of reaction. Although maybe he's too much like me to show he really cared and instead went with, does this face look bothered option.

So two weeks on...
The idea of taking it away was a lot worse than the reality. Bedtime has become a little harder as he adapts to failing asleep without it but that will sort itself out. Almost instantly he seemed so much more grown up and I get the feeling he feels more like a big boy too. Dummy....what dummy?