After a perplexing, and unfruitful, sweep of the house for Hollis' pacifiers (we call them "pacies") the other day I decided to check behind his crib.
This is what I found:
Can you see how many there are? I think there are five. Five! Ridiculous!
I bought a bottle warmer back before I knew that bottle feeding would be a total bust and now we use its steaming abilities to sterilize pacies. We have so many I can't even fit them in to the damn thing, and yet I routinely can't dig up a single pacifier when I need it!
Pacifiers are like my nuts. If I were a squirrel, I mean. I have them hidden, and/or stashed, in my purse, my pockets, my bedside drawer, the glove box, the diaper bag, and the car seat caddy. Seriously.
I often also find them on the bathroom counter, the floor, the couch, the cupboard, down Hollis' overalls, and, reassuringly, in his crib.
I'm careful not to stuff one in his sweet little mouth whenever he wants one and my reasons are twofold: 1) I don't want to always have to have a fucking paci on me to placate my son, and 2) I don't want to over stiumulate the whole "oral soothing" thing. I smoked off and on for a decade and I know how nice a ciggie, or at least the ritual of putting one in your mouth, can be.
I have to admit, though, Anthony and I have gotten a little lax in our no-paci-except-bedtime-naptime-quiettime-and-car-seat philosophy. Ever since Hollis has been showing a preference for something, i.e., a pacifier, I've gotten soft in the heart. It's so endearing to see him deliberately search out and find a paci or his blankie. For so many months he just did whatever out of necessity, now he's doing things because his wiring requires it for his own special reasons totally outside of survival mode. And that's incredible.
I remember when he first showed a preference for his yellow sleep sack (aka "blankie"). I took about 30 pictures of him first spotting it in the laundry basket, dragging himself over to it (because he wasn't even crawling yet) and picking it out of the pile of clothes, then finally clutching it to his face and lying on it.
It's weird how so many of my preconceived notions about rules and motherhood just get shattered when applied to a real baby and to my very real heart. I like to think I'm consistent, but damn, it's really hard!! I find myself giving him -or rather letting him keep- a paci he's found in any of the various already mentioned spots (see, he's like a squirrel, too). I'm just amazed that he has a preference for something and I feel bad for denying it to him.
No matter what I'll continue to buy pacifiers and I'll continue to think I'm instituting a healthy oral habit (whether I am or not is yet to be seen). Hollis will continue to be ridiculously cute and he'll continue to leave pacifiers for me to find like a gold-hungry pirate with an old debt to settle. Arghhhhhh!!!