Children are known to have their parents wrapped around their little fingers. I have recently found out that they play us like fiddles, this week I was well and truly played…….by a 3-year old!
The dummy can be a parent’s best friend or worst enemy. We decided that we would give both our boys a dummy straight away. The obvious reason was that they would be comforted by it. It has been a life saver many times and I’m not sure I would have coped without using one with the boys. At times, it was the only thing to stop the boys crying… which almost stopped me crying too.
Now, the downfall to using a dummy is way you decide to stop using it.
I used to believe that the issue with removing the dummy was that the child couldn’t settle or sleep without it. Now my thoughts on this are a bit more sinister. I believe they have the ability to cope without it, they just do it in their time and on their own terms (like most things).
In the last few months, we have been talking to Luke about getting rid of his dummy all together. It’s probably worth mentioning that he had just been getting it at night. We had told him that when Ethan got rid of his, he got a special treat, which was a Jelly Belly Machine. The last-minute request for this particular machine made it a nightmare to find. As Luke is obsessed with all things Christmas, we thought that it would be the perfect time get rid & ‘give’ it to Santa, who would leave him presents, maybe even an extra one! He was having none of it. He informed us confidently that he would get presents because he was on the nice list, unlike me, who he put on Santa’s naughty list via the “call Santa” app every day in December. We didn’t want to push it too much in case it made it harder to get rid of… plus who wants a crying toddler on Christmas Eve? We decided to stop talking about it and approach it again later.
Less that 2 weeks after Christmas, the dummy topic came up again. We had just finished the bed time story and it was mentioned that he would have to get rid of it soon. His eyes lit up, like he had just walked in to a toy shop, thinking of all the endless possibilities to get exactly what he wanted. He instantly said, “can I get a race track Mater?” This is a boy who loves himself a bit of Disney Cars merchandise. Our house is already coming down with the stuff and yet he still manages to find things that he just must have! I showed him a picture of a Transforming Mater and a Transforming Mack. He decided he wanted the Mater. He was told he wasn’t getting anything until the dummy was gone. He instantly stood up, went downstairs and threw the dummy straight in the bin. Mrs B and I didn’t know what to do, we weren’t prepared for this, nor did we expect it to happen 5 minutes before bedtime. We were in shock, but we had to go with it. The only way for us to survive the night was whiskey and wine. He slept all night, no issues. So, we ordered the Mater.
The next day, I got a text message from Granny saying, “you’re dead!” I had no idea what I had done or what Luke had done. Hopefully he hadn’t left a big turd on her floor I thought. It turned out that he told her she had to buy him the Mack toy because I said she would. Of course, her being a Granny she didn’t say no! He has also since informed his other Granny that he needs new ‘bath bongs’ for binning the dummy.
I never thought much of it, until the following day. This is when I realised, I had been played. Well and truly played. He had managed to get 50 quids worth of toys, less than 2 weeks after Christmas. I think that my innocent looking 3-year old had this planned all along. I asked him about waiting until after Santa had been to get rid of his dummy, so he could get more toys. He just looked at me and laughed.
Children are savage, and they will chew you up and spit you out to get what they want. I expect to be played lots throughout their childhood, even though I know it, it doesn’t mean I can stop it.
And as for the rest of you parents out there, you are all fiddles in your children’s orchestra! Enjoy being played!
Bearded with boys.