Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The one where I traumatize my kid
My son has a blankie. Seven of them, actually. Seven soggy, satin edged lovies that he can not, will not, live without. Overtired from a long day at preschool? Blankie in the mouth. Sad because you got a time out for hitting your mama? Blankie in the mouth. It's not that I mind. Being 3 is stressful! You've got potty training, school, the frustration of wanting to do things that you can't! quite! do! Sure it's causing a really cute overbite, but judging by the large, non-blankie induced spaces between his teeth, there's no way this kid's gonna escape braces anyway.
So here's the question: Do I have to take it away?
My gut says that this is not a big deal. That he'll give it up when he's ready, and who am I to determine how he self-calms? But then I think, What if it were a pacifier? Would I be so easygoing if he stuck a plastic binkie in his mouth every day after school? Because that is essentially what we're talking about here. And if by letting him decide when he's ready, am I opening him up to ridicule? Let's face it, kids can be assholes. I still remember the Jack, the 2nd grader at my school who sucked his thumb. He would have been ridiculed if he hadn't been such a shit-kicker. (Of course as an adult I get all kinds of heartbroken thinking about this little kid who knew how to fight but still needed to suck his thumb.)
Can I let him love what he wants to love, or am I just infantalizing him? Is it time to call in the "pacifier fairy"? (We tried a gentle mention a few months ago. It went about as well as you'd expect.) Where do you stand, parents?