Pacie Detox

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The couch cushions are disheveled.
Baby toys overturned, scattered like a crime scene.
The baby cries, wails, now screams.
I'm on my knees, peering under the couch with a flashlight.
Justin is kicking books and balls and puzzles out of his way,
as if our future depends on it.
And doesn't it?
The baby screams.
Tempers flare.
******
FOUND IT! FOUND IT! FOUND IT!
I run -- RUN -- up the stairs, into his room.
And there he's standing, eyes swollen into slits, his face dewey and exhausted.
I lay him down, inserting The Great and Powerful Pacifier.
Eyes close.
The end.
Rewind to a year ago, and there I was, big and pregnant, researched and naive. I spent pretty much all of my time reading online magazines, devouring first-person stories, diving into a subculture, a language, foreign to the single-tons. I knew what effacement and engorgement and attachment parenting meant. I kept an eye out for the bloody show. And just as I knew that Breast Is Best, I knew that pacifiers were bad, bad news.
Such criticism, such complaining, from one stupid sucking toy. (I said SUCKING in case your eyes glazed over that sentence too fast.) Interfering with breast feeding! Delaying language development! Dirty and unsanitary! Why even introduce one? If the kid never knows it, the kid will never miss it. I had made up my mind: No binkies in this household. And I held firm -- for six weeks.
I was tired -- in a way that deserves it's own special term -- and I concocted this cockamamie theory that Noah wasn't given an adequate amount of sucking time due to my overabundant milk production, so he needed something to suck. While in hindsight he could have found his tiny little hand, I was sure that a pacifier would be beneficial. I was tired.
It quickly became a standard essential: Got the keys? Your phone? Diaper bag? Binkie?
Then somewhere along the way, I'm not sure when, I became the Pacie Pusher. It was laying around, so I'd stick it in his mouth. Starting to get cranky, in pops the binkie. It needed to be with us AT. ALL. TIMES, and if it was lost (which it always was, no matter how many extras we bought) panic ensued. With an angry, destructive, capital P.
I am not amused. Hand it over.
It's gotten to the point where that stupid little silicone bastard is in full control, the nicotine in his (our?) addiction. We are that complaining couple, dependent on a material object that we never needed to have in our lives. And we want it out. Now.
So yesterday when the binkie was lost, yet again, we decided not to look for it. It would be hard, yes, but we'd muscle through the cries and the shakes and the MAKE IT STOPs. He'd learn to fall asleep without something in his mouth and that's that.
Well lo and behold, the binkie showed up, mocking us from the linoleum kitchen floor. So we cleaned it up and put it by our TV -- just in case of an emergency. That night, after Noah had gone to sleep and woken up and gone to sleep and woken up, I was in the kitchen doing dishes, ignoring the fact that there was a baby that needed tending, leaving it up to my husband in the living room.
After the house was finally hushed, I emerged from my sanctuary and joined Justin on the couch. I glanced by the TV. The binkie was missing.
I had to...
I would have done the same thing. Earlier.
We've cut down on it's awake-time use, but right now as I write this, Noah is upstairs in his crib, curled and peaceful and quiet, his little lips wrapped around his pacifier.
Baby steps.
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