Saturday, January 30, 2010


When I was four, my family went to Daylesford for a weekender. I think we stayed at a guest house or similar. I don't recall much of the trip, save for feeling tremendously bored and tired.

The other thing I have never been able to erase from my memory, about that brief holiday, was that Daylesford *cue minor key music* was where I lost my dearly beloved: my Dummy.

Me and my dummy were never far from each other. Heck, I had the thing attached by a little chain to whatever top I was wearing. I don't remember, but I must have been sucking on that thing 24/7. I DO remember it tasted bloody awful (really rubbery - I think, now I am a parent of a child who's had a dummy, Mum and Dad must have been at the end of their tether with how to get it off me... I reckon they mustn't have replaced it in a long time, hoping it'd be so rank that I'd be turned off it and decide on my own to be rid of it).

The day we were leaving, my parents were rushing about packing bags and dodging kids (there are four of us). I remember watching them, hopefully, anticipating one of them calling out, "I've found it, here it is!" because they'd both distractedly told me they would look for my dummy as they were packing up our things to head home.

I sat on that bed and waited and waited. No such exclamation came. I had lost my dummy.

Of course, now I am pretty certain I most certainly did NOT! Doing a few quick deductions, as an adult, I've come to realise that, if the thing was always chained to me, it couldn't have been lost unless someone unclipped it while I slept! And further, my parents didn't even look for it! Okay, so that's just a hunch of mine but I'll bet it's accurate. Regardless, the betrayal I felt. Oh, the betrayal!

I actually mourned the loss of my dummy. I was so incredibly sad that my little four year-old heart thought it would nevahhh, ever mend.

Now, the reason I tell you all of this is because.... We are on night #7 without the dummy here. It was me, first and foremost, who had to confront the situation like I was ripping off a bandaid. Once I got to the point of saying to myself, "Do it now, don't overthink it," it was time to execute a very hasty plan - probably quite similar to the way my parents had done it (and which I have vowed, these past 3 1/2 years Lolly has had hers, not to repeat because I thought they were so dastardly to deceive me so....hmmm).

This is a HEEEUGE feat. Our little Lol was introduced to a dummy to pacify at the tender age of two days. I hadn't decided whether I wanted to give her one or not, but as she was jaundiced and had to go under the Billi lights (which caused her mother to go into a convulsing ball beside her at the sight because it was so familiar and felt like a nightmare about to repeat itself), a nurse just popped a teeny tiny dummy in our wee girl's gob. To soothe me as much as her, the middie had said. By jove, she was right, too.

Ever since, the LGBB has had a dummy for all her sleeps. Never outside the cot (now bed).

The way her little heart broke the other night took me back to when I was sitting watching my parents as they packed up the rooms we had stayed in at Daylesford. I couldn't understand how I could possibly have lost my dummy, I was so bereft i thought I'd never
recover. And I didn't want the LGBB's fate at the end of her dummy's time to have the same lasting effect.

Steve and I think we timed it rather well - when we went away this past weekend to the beach, I hid one dummy (in case it all went ballistic) in my bag but we told her we'd forgotten her dummy for bedtime. And before we left home, I threw away her spares so there were none in the house.

We got home from the beach, after spending two nights there and Lolly was admirable in her acceptance of the lack of dummy. She had fully accepted we had left her dummy at home and went to sleep without it, no problems. All was going according to our plan...

Steve went out and bought a pink and silver glitter lava lamp (his choice of reward for her, and a mighty good one at that) and I wrote a letter "from the Dummy Fairies", who had noticed she had been sleeping so well without her dummy on her holidays that they had given her a gift in exchange for her other dummies (which had been taken to the hospital for the little babies who needed them).

Well, the LGBB started out proud as punch, beaming from ear to ear and making breathy gasps as she gazed at the letter from the fairies. She kept proclaiming her love for her lamp.

But then, lights-out time came and the heaving sobs were soooooo sad! And sweet. And so I told her about when I was a little girl and had 'lost' my dummy. She completely forgot her own misery and started comforting me. Hugging my head and cupping my face in her hands with big tears rolling down her cheeks, my heart ripped a little bit more as she said, "Mummy's so sad". Oh dear! It was very precious.

I hastily reassured her that I was okay now and that seemed to soothe her some. Until she started overlaying her own story of dummy woe with my own, getting all muddled and saying, "But.... my dummy is lost. It got lost in da hostidible." I had to remind her that, no, her dummy was not lost in the hospital, but that it had been taken with many thanks by the dummy fairies to be used by little babies in the hospital who needed it more, now that she was a big girl.

She made far less fuss the next night and only made a half-arsed attempt to ask for it the third night. Poor little lamb. But it was time for them to go - judging by the persistent dummy-shaped gumline and teeth - so we seized our distracting opportunity. I feel wretched in one sense, but know that we have balanced it well (for us). She was a baby who had a strong need for sucking for comfort - her quota of sucking was fulfilled by the dummy, second to the breast. I hazard a pretty good guess that if it hadn't been the dummy, it would have been her thumb.

And the "fairy dust lamp" is just so gorgeous. How can a girl not fall in love with a pink and silver glitter lava lamp in her bedroom?! What I want to know is, why hadn't they been invented when I was a kid? I would have begged for one til I was blue in the face.

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