No dummy. I want Mummy.
This baby is just out to break the rules. Most babies are born within a week of their due date. So of course she doesn’t show up until thirteen days after and only having taken next to forever. Tongue-ties grow back only in an estimated one in ten babies. So, obviously that had to happen to her.
But, man, I thought all babies took dummies? Comforters, pacifiers, soothers – let’s not get hung up on what we call them – my baby won’t have one.
It goes like this. I pop what’s supposed to be the magic peacemaker in her mouth, tickling her top lip so she opens first to accept it. She gives a couple of sucks then twists her face (“scwinge up” as we say in Trinidad) as if it’s the most offensive thing anyone’s ever given anyone.
It’s the face I’d make if you told me you were putting chocolate in my mouth and it turned out to be licorice. Though why I’d close my eyes and let you put anything in my mouth is beyond me.
I thought long and hard about this dummy business. I was never really sure how I felt about dummies. You might remember my ambivalence when I considered it so I could pump to try to rescue my milk supply.
The thought of giving my baby a cold object as a substitute for me felt strange. But after hanging over her car seat on an intercity journey not once but twice dangling my boob into her mouth (adventures of the well-endowed, eh?) it became apparent that a dummy was in order.
And that is because my baby has broken the other golden baby rule: she does not fall asleep in cars. Not only does she not fall asleep but she wails. She does not tire of wailing. She did it for half hour once until I couldn’t take it anymore and that’s when the boob went in her mouth. How’s that for an unsustainable solution?
I often sit in the backseat with her if it’s going to be a long journey. Sometimes she accepts a finger but not usually. A couple of times my falling asleep with my face near hers has encouraged her to fall asleep too. But nothing consistently works.
She’ll outgrow this, right? Right? Tell me I’m right. When I say outgrow this, I mean soon. Not like when she’s a toddler.
So, for our trip to Cornwall a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d lovingly do the research and procure the best dummy I could possibly find so that if she had to have a cold, silly object, at least it would be the “best” one.
I settled on this beautiful natural rubber one from Hevea with moons and stars (pictured above). It’s so lovely, I want to suck it. I resisted buying one of those pretty wooden chains to go with it just in case she didn’t get on with it. And, of course, she didn’t.
If she’s tired she’ll hold on to it for a while but it soon falls out of her mouth and things are worse than before. The world is ending. Because she has to stay in a car seat and mummy, mummy, she wants boob.
When we got back to Bristol I tried a pretty little pink dummy from MAM that blogger Imperfect Pages posted to me, having got a sample at this year’s Cybermummy conference. No luck there either.
I’ll admit, it wouldn’t just be useful for the car. To get her to nap, I currently have the choice of taking her out in the pram, strapping her to me in the Moby wrap or the Storchenwiege, or lying with her and plugging her in.
I’m lazy and do the one that works fastest and requires the least effort more often than not, so there I lie with my boob in her mouth. At least it means I get some rest too but she often wakes up when I get up and it would be useful for her to nap without me so I could, um, clean the bath and stuff.
I suppose it just means we don’t have to try to wean her off a dummy later on. And it is a compliment of sorts that she prefers me. It probably also says something about her personality that she must have the human touch.
But, hey, if you know how to get a baby to take a dummy, I’m open to all kinds of suggestions.