confessions

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Here at Cuddledry we love a good gossip and sharing secrets. Do you have a parenting confession you’d like to get off your chest? Go on, you can tell us…

In this post, Susanna Scott reveals all about dummies. Susanna has three children — all born within a three-year time span. When people hear this their eyes usually widen and say something like “you must be busy!” She has been a working mum and a stay-at-home mum, with some variations in between.  After a career in journalism and marketing, she took three years off to reflect on how the heck she went from charging around Europe to charging around the play park. She recently re-entered the workforce, and is pleased that she hasn’t lost as many brain cells as she feared. You can read more at her blog, A Modern Mother.

I have a deep, dark secret.  I have hidden it from my closest friends for years.  I tried to hide it from my mum, but she eventually found out.

My children used dummies until they were practically young adults.

OK, I’m exaggerating, but it sure seemed like my life was governed by dummies for ages. I should have given them up earlier, but as the years went by they became harder and harder to extricate from our lives.

I wasn’t even going to offer my first born a dummy. I was dead set against it. I wasn’t going to have one of those kids you see on the high street with a runny nose and a dummy stuck in their mouth like a plug in a bath tub. Oh, no, not me.

But when I brought Emily home from hospital, she weighed barely five pounds.  She ate every few hours.  In between she would cry. A lot.

It was my father who first suggested a dummy. There’s nothing wrong with dummies he said. A dummy would soothe her.

So I went out and bought one. And when Emily predictably opened her mouth for her afternoon wail, I seized the moment and plunged the dummy in to her mouth.  I waited for her to spit it out, but she didn’t. Instead, her tiny mouth enveloped it with the suction of a vacuum cleaner. The next day I went to Mothercare and bought one in every available colour and shape.

When Alexandra came along 18 months later, Emily was still attached to her dummy. The day after we arrived home from hospital, the health visitor stopped by.  When she was ready to leave, a snotty-nosed Emily crept into the room, dummy in mouth, and grunted at her.  The health visitor was not impressed.

There’s been a big change in her life, I argued. Now is not the time to take away her dummy.

The problem is, there is never a good time. Every time we thought about taking away the dummies (Alexandra had picked up her big sister’s habit), I had another baby. Or we moved country. Some years we did both.

The “dummy fairy” finally came last year. We put the dummies on the window sill with a note to give them to a family who needed them.

You know what – the girls don’t miss them. Not one bit. I’m just kicking myself for not taking them away earlier.

Photo credit: clevercupcakes

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