And then we actually met H., the original Zen baby.
Not that he doesn't have his fussy moments, but unlike his big sister, what he wants in those moments is not a piece of silicone or latex. Trust me. I know it's not what he wants because we have literally purchased one each of every size, shape, and style of pacifier on the market today. Oh, if he's tired enough, he might suckle one for a minute or two... before switching to manic chewing that jettisons the offending object from his maw like a piece of aspirated beef on the receiving end of the Heimlich.
Frustrating? Yeah, a little. I work from home so there have been a few times I could have used the services of the rubber baby plug. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few suggestions for what to do when baby can't seem to hold the #$%^ paci in his mouth:
- Tape it on there, good and tight. Use duct tape - everything is better with duct tape. Replace daily, or until baby has accepted the bink as a trusted friend and confidant.
- Offer cash. Seriously, who wouldn't love an extra tenner? And just imagine how many gel teethers baby could buy with a Benjamin! (Note: Requires teaching baby to value money.)
- Paint baby with heather gray chalkboard paint, wax and buff, install drawer pulls from Anthro, blog baby, and submit to Apartment Therapy as a DIY redo. What's that crying sound? Ambiance.
- Package baby appropriately, affix the proper amount of postage, and drop off any any official USPS location. There's a lot of flexibility here because you choose baby's destination.
- Write and present an elaborate stage play for baby that extols the virtues of the pacifier. The key to success lies in securing an emotional response, so choose an experienced theater director, preferably British.
- Request help from the Freakanomics team. Let them present the statistics related to pacifier use and the decreased risk of SIDS directly to your baby.
- Put baby in a safe place and retire to another room. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Think about how you'll never have to deal with pacifier weaning.
As it turned out, what H. wants is to be held in the maximum upright position so as not to miss a single moment of either cuddle time and to ensure that he is at all times part of the action of the household. Conference call? Put him in the Bjorn. Need to write? Put him in the Bjorn. Research can be done while he nurses, so no trouble there. And at night, he wants a little snuggle but will generally go to sleep easily. Generally. Not always. This isn't a utopia.
Pacifier failure has been a good lesson for us. What we learned was not to expect H. to be a clone of P. in anything other than looks. He is a different baby in a lot of different ways, from his rapid-fire growth to his nighttime sleeping skills, and so trying to follow the same patterns will lead to frustration for us and for him. So bye bye, binks... just two years earlier than last time and without so many tears.
How have your children surprised you lately?