For years I have struggled with the idea of Willow giving up her dummy. I have written about it time, and time, and time again. Additionally, I have fretted about my image as a mother because of Willow having a dummy. We’re all aware that dummies can sometimes get a bad rep.
I guess you could say, deep down I am a strong believer in the power of dummies, and that without one, I would have failed as a mother harder than someone trying to recreate a pinterest cake. But, I also know that dummies can have an effect on a variety of different things like speech, breastfeeding and dental health. However, having struggled with none of those issues, I can’t pass judgement. What I do know, is that Willow loved her dummy almost as much as I did.
Honestly, Dummies for me were a big thing, I mean, look how long I had mine for. I was bound to have a child who used a dummy, and I openly admit that I kind of forced Willow to use one. I probably made an excuse at the time, saying something like “she needs it.” when really, what I should have been saying is, “I need her to have this.”
A decision was made when she was still a fetus and I stick by my decision. I didn’t really think she would still have it until she was almost 5, but in all honesty, I don’t really care that she did either.
Yes, it annoyed me at times, especially when she would talk with it in her mouth or sneak off with it or steal it. But, guys, I really love my sleep and a dummy meant that my baby slept. It helped me be a better mother by calming my irritated child, and helping when she had colic. Which, in turn, made me less anxious, frustrated and overwhelmed.
I think I was probably addicted to the thing as much as she was.
I have some great news that I did not think I would be sharing anytime soon….
The Dummy Is GONE.
End of Era.
It has died and gone to dummy heaven.
Or, as we told Willow when we fabricated a whole mythical being called the Dummy Fairy, it is hanging in the Dummy Tree where birds use it as a perch and fairy children use it as a swing.
It cost us a £1 too, because no fake story about a fake fairy in a fake universe is believable unless she (as in me) leaves behind a ‘golden coin’.
The reason for the untimely departure of Willows prized possession was none other than…….drum roll……………..HANK.
The little shit managed to steal it while we were out and he chewed the teat off it.
Willow, of course, got upset… here’s a little run down of what happened when we discovered the chewed up remains of her dummy…
Willow : *cries* HANK CHEWED MY DUMMY!
Me : HUH?
Willow : HANK CHEWED MY DUMMY!! *more cries*
Me : Oh, well…uhh…well…well…I guess you should have put it away. That’s it now, your dummy is gone.
Willow : *wails*
Me : Weeeeeeeeeeeeell, I did tell you to put it away. You will be okay, lots of children sleep without a dummy. You will be fine.
Willow : Can we buy a new one?
Me : *sees the opportunity* No, sorry baby, we can’t buy new ones.
Willow : Why?
Me : Because you’re a big girl now. We can only buy dummies for babies.
Willow : AWWHHHHHHHHHH *sob, sob, cry, cry.*
Me : *pulls her in for a hug* Listen, you’re nearly 5 now and you would have had to stop having your dummy once you got to your birthday anyway. *imagines the tooth fairy….makes up dummy fairy* And anyway, now you’re going to finish with your dummy, you can leave it under your pillow for the dummy fairy.
Willow : *stops wiping snot in my sleeve* The dummy fairy?
Me : Yep. The dummy fairy. She’s just like the tooth fairy who comes and collects teeth from under your pillow, except she collects dummies.
Willow : Will I get a gold coin?
Me : yes you will.
Willow : Okay. *jumps off my lap and runs to play on the trampoline.*
I seriously sat there wondering what the hell had happened, one second she was sobbing, brokenhearted, at the prospect of never having a dummy ever again, and the next, she’s screaming at me to watch her back flip (which translates as: landing on her back after doing a big jump) because she’s SO GOOD MUMMY!! COME SEE!! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! LOOOOOOOOKKKKK….. MUUUUMMMMMYYYYYY……
I just rolled with it and didn’t mention it again.
Bedtime came and we did have a few tears. From both of us. I may have sounded a bit cold hearted when I was talking to her about not having put it away. In all honesty, I saw it as a chance to teach a lesson about responsiblity, but bedtime was different. It was the first time since she was a baby that she would be going to bed without a dummy. It was scary for her, not having that comfort. It was scary for me too, because I was reliant on it to keep her settled, or better, asleep. So we both cried and Kaboodle Dad gave Willow a big hug and told her that she would be fine (while I quickly wiped away the tears so she wouldn’t see them) and reminded her of the Dummy Fairy and generally trying to cheer her up.
Funny story… the piece of the dummy that Hank didn’t chew, got lost during the day, so we had to write a letter for Willow to put under her pillow for the Dummy Fairy.
On the first night, I thought Meirion had put the ‘coin’ under her pillow. He hadn’t. Willow woke up and asked about it, we said perhaps her letter needed to be tucked right under her pillow.
On the second night, Meirion thought I had put the coin under her pillow. I hadn’t. So willow woke up yet again with no coin. So we told her that perhaps she had to wait for a few days, because the Dummy Fairy wouldn’t want to collect a dummy in case the little girl or boy changed their mind and wanted the dummy back. So we told her that that night, she would have to make sure that she put the letter really safely under her pillow, in case tonight was the night the Dummy Fairy came.
She came that night (desperately trying not to laugh like a 13 year old at that statement #InuendoBingo!) after Meirion and I both made a conscious effort NOT to let our child down for the third night in a row.
Really not setting the bar very high with this parenting lark, are we?
So yeah, there we have it. The story of how Willow doesn’t have a dummy anymore.
In all fairness, Willow has been shockingly good with the whole thing. After spending the last 5 years (pretty much) debating how and when to get rid of the dummy, and fretting about it too, she just takes it in her stride and copes.
She coped so well in fact, it’s like she never really had one at all. I think she’s even forgotten about it completely, to be honest.
She hasn’t mentioned it since she got her golden coin (just over 2 weeks ago) and I can’t see her mentioning it again.
Maybe when looking at photos in the future, but otherwise, I think it’s safe to say that the dummy is well and truly behind us.
As parents, Meirion and I are so proud of Willow. We really couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome from a bad situation and the way Willow has taken this huge change on board makes our hearts feel full. We’ve talked about it together since that day and we’ve both said that Willow has surprised us beyond our imagination and that we both feel a huge amount of pride and love for our strong, brave and awesome daughter.
Well done Baby girl! Sorry we lied to you about the Dummy Fairy, but you really didn’t mind and if it made things easier for you, then a little white lie was worth it. You make us proud Whump! Love you lots.
As always guys, Thank You very much for reading.
Have you ever had to go through a dummy break up? How was it for you? let me know in the comments!
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