Saturday, November 27, 2010

Benjamin's Incredible Talent

I remember when Frances was born that I was very anti-pacifier. I had read all sorts of things about them being bad for breastfeeding, hard to get rid of, tough to keep track of and not good for your teeth. In the end, however, it mostly came down to the fact that I hated they way they looked. I knew a lot of kids that constantly had them in their mouths and you could never see their faces. Even for pictures.  So I was determined that Frances was not going to have one.
For some reason I had one in my purse though.  Maybe it was "for emergencies only." I honestly don't remember, but it was there. And I remember the day I took it out.  I was running errands with Frances in the car.  She was probably about 6 or 7 weeks old at the time.  And. She. Was. Screaming!! She wouldn't stop for anything.  And there wasn't much I could do anyway! I was driving home and kept hitting traffic and traffic lights.    I tried sticking my finger in her mouth, but I couldn't drive that way, so it only worked for when I was stopped.  In the end, I pulled out the pacifier and plopped it in her mouth and reveled in the silence. After that it was a constant presence, especially at bed time. The worst part about it was that it would fall out of her mouth in the middle of the night and she would wake up crying for it.  Ken and I got into the habit of keeping a few extras in her crib to make the middle of the night groggy grab easier.  And long after she "slept through the night" she would wake up and cry for that pacifier.
Fast forward a few years and along came Henry.  He was a bit of a fussy baby.  There were times he would just cry and we couldn't figure it out. So we tried a pacifier....and he spit it out.  So I bought a different kind...and he spit that out too.  I think I ended up buying about 4 different styles to see which one he would take, but no go.  He spit them all out!  Or knocked them out with his fists.  It took him a while, but he finally got his fists, and then thumb in his mouth and he was finally happy.  Once he mastered it, he could stick his thumb in his mouth whenever he needed to and soothe himself.  And when he slept through the night, he really slept through the night!  He still sucks his thumb, but I am determined not to worry about it. He really only does it when he is tired or upset.
Then came Benjamin. I wasn't sure whether he would suck his thumb or take a pacifier.  I couldn't honestly say which I preferred.  They both have benefits and drawbacks.  Well, sometimes he sucks his thumb and sometimes he takes a pacifier.  I was a little bit sad when I remembered all the times we had to get up in the middle of the night with Frances, but I didn't see a way around it.  Then a miracle occurred!  I watched Benjamin put his own pacifier in his mouth!  I don't remember Frances doing that until she was much older.  I see Benjamin do it all the time. Sometimes he pulls it out just to put it back in.  And then the second miracle occurred. He did it in his sleep!  We were out of town and he was sleeping the bed with me.  He woke briefly, but I was giving him a minute to settle himself.  I watched him pick up his pacifier, plop it in his mouth and go back to sleep! Yeah Benjamin! You rock!!

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