Please pass the passie! Ah, to passie or not to passie. That’s an excellent question. I’m sure many people have strong feelings on the subject. I’m conflicted. It’s because there is more to it than just the passie, right? Do I coddle, swaddle or let them cry? How do I teach patience and discipline without being militaristic? What is the formula for a relaxed and cool kid? Maybe cool is bad. Maybe tough is better. Ugh. Let’s just get him sleeping through the night.
My husband’s mother, my mother-in-law, had six children. She did not use a pacifier for any of them. They are all pretty great kids. Pretty tough too. My husband’s father delivered two of his younger siblings. They lived on a farm in the country and the doctor did not make it in time. They were planning on a home birth. I believe the doctor decided they could handle the last one on their own. I think that one decided to come out feet first. My mother-in-law has the sweetest, most soothing demeanor. Maybe her voice served as a pacifier. She also raised chickens and cut off their heads. My mind can’t quite compute the contradiction. I remember visiting my husband’s family farm when we were dating. I was frequently chased by their unruly cow. The cow thought I was my mother-in-law-to-be and that I was going to feed him. Although I love animals, the cow sort of freaked me out. I tried racing from the car to the house before the cow could catch me but my husband-to-be decided to lock me in the car, giving the cow a sufficient head start. Of course, once I got in the house I was assaulted by five younger children (four boys) and a perhaps a pig hiding under the kitchen table. It was probably better that they never had passies. Having a passie in that house might have resulted in missing a meal. There was alot of competition what with six mouths to feed, not to mention the cow, pig, goats and chickens. I didn’t like the chickens either. They sat in the trees and attacked you as you walked by.
I can’t help view the passie warily and yet I grab it without reservation when needed. I don’t know why I call it a “passie” anyway. I guess I’ve already started with the babytalk. I don’t exclude the passie from the parental tool box, but I don’t love it either. I want to learn my baby’s language, his cues and cries. I want to be his passie whenever possible (ie nipple chafing), but I also want him to be self-sufficient and fearless. For now, the passie is a dessert to be provided in moderation. Pass the passie, please! Only after you’ve eating, peeped, pooped and passed gas!