I’d been holding off on getting out baby clothes and organizing all of our newborn necessities — things like swaddles, newborn diapers, merlot. I thought maybe our lack of preparation would entice the baby to come a little early. If being a mother for 21 months has taught me anything, it’s that babies like to catch their parents off guard.
I finally pulled down the box of things we packed away not so long ago. There are teeny tiny socks, onesies, and a collection of pacifiers. David never really attached to a pacifier as a baby. He used one every now and then, but as soon as he discovered his thumb he refused them.
To be honest, I sort of discouraged the pacifier. I didn’t want to have to break a paci habit, and celebrated my genius when he gave up sucking his thumb on his own.
But as soon as David saw the pacifiers we’d packed away, he grabbed one and put it in his mouth. He bit it and tilted his head up because he didn’t really know how to use it. It looked funny to see my toddler with a paci and I started laughing, which is exactly what David needed. He started laughing and running around with it in his mouth.
What started as a funny moment became a new favorite toy. Suddenly David’s carrying pacifiers around the house and I’m stashing them his bag when we go places just in case.
He doesn’t suck on them, he just holds them in his mouth and giggles. Sometimes he even crawls around, like a baby, while holding the pacifier in his mouth.
The other day David was refusing to nap and when I went in to tell him I couldn’t hear the Real Housewives over his babbling, he started asking for “pa pa.” After a 15-minute game of Charades, I realized he was asking for his pacifier.
The only problem was, he’d taken the stupid thing in the bed with him. That meant he’d dropped it out of the crib, which means I was on the errand I worked so hard to avoid: I was in David’s room to retrieve a pacifier in order to get him to go to sleep already.
It wasn’t until I was on my hands and knees maneuvering my nine-month pregnant belly to look under a crib skirt for an errant pacifier for my 21-month old who DOESN’T USE A PACIFIER that I realized something: maybe the reason David wins all the battles is because he’s the one picking all the fights.