Monday, January 13, 2014

Believe Me, You're Better Off Without It

My Munchkin, my sweet baby, unclench your teeth from the pacifier.

Because, though I still see the bald baby who rocked the Army crawl across the carpet, you are a big boy now, with a big boy haircut and big boy shoes and long, long big boy legs. You speak big boy sentences and have big boy interests and love big boy games like “twista-twista” and forward rolls with Daddy on the big bed.

Though you still sleep in the crib and you still grasp my hand as you drift off, though you don’t yet wear big boy pants, you are a big boy. You are. And you can handle life without the pacifier. You’re better off without it.


Here are the logical reasons:

You’re biting it more than sucking it. And you’re wearing the boppys down and causing knicks and holes and Mommy is constantly vigilant over them and it’s driving her crazy worrying you will bite the end off. It’s safer now, with your big boy teeth, if you let it go.

You talk more when you don’t use it and we love to hear you, Daddy and I, we love your little voice and your observations.

I’ve hated that thing since the hospital gave it to you without my knowing. I should have stopped it then, when you were just 1 day old, since it wasn’t my choice to start. What did I know, on day 2 of motherhood? 

But these are my reasons. They aren’t yours. Why are you better off without your boppy?

I could answer more effectively if I didn’t feel I was lying to you. Because Mommy’s secret is this: That blanket stuffed under her pillow? That’s her baby blanket. It is over 30 years old, and it shows. Mommy still rubs the silky edges when she goes to sleep.

Some people used to tell me I was better off without my baby blanket and I dismissed them. They do not know.

But here is the thing I will say. I don’t need my blanket now. It doesn’t travel with me, and I fall asleep as normal in its absence. It’s a comfort I keep because I choose it.

And you don’t get this yet, but I do: You are strong. You are better off without that boppy because letting it go gives you the freedom to speak your mind, and you have such a mind. You have such true and sharp things to say.

Don’t ever hide behind a crutch because it’s comfortable. Spit out the boppy and speak. You will be better off.

Inspired by the prompt, "You're better off without it" in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. Last Friday night was Babyface's first night without the paci. Overall, it's been much better than our rock-bottom expectations.

    1. Yay Babyface! Munchkin asks for it from time to time, but it's been much easier than expected. No tears beyond the first day.