You’ve been there. You’re on a crowded train or in a packed grocery store, and your kid has a complete meltdown. If you’re like me, you dig something out of your bag and hand it to him as quickly as possible to make it stop. OMG, everyone is staring! I usually give Mason a toy or a snack. Chris hands over his Blackberry. Immediately.
According to a report by ABC News, he’s not alone. A new survey by the U.K supermarket chain Asda found that 27 percent of mothers shush unhappy kids with their cellphones, while 25 percent use a bottle, 21 percent offer soft toys, and nine percent proffer pacifiers.
Makes sense. Little kids love all of that stuff. Electronics are bright and shiny, noisy and fun, and sometimes off-limits. But I suspect the percentage of moms who hand over pacifiers and bottles is lower, in part, because of the social stigma of letting your kid have them. At least that’s why I don’t do it. I can just hear the judgment already:
Your kid is drinking a bottle? Why aren’t you breastfeeding?!
He seems too old to be drinking out of a bottle! And is that juice?!
You let your toddler have a pacifier? His teeth will be ruined!
Our dirty little secret is that the paci is boss in our house, even though Mason is nearly 2. And he gleefully drinks a bottle every morning and every night (sometimes he wakes us up in the morning by yelling BABA! BABA!, his name for the bottle). Although Mason loves gadgets, nothing can compete with his precious baba, or his beloved paci.
Our pediatrician told me to ditch the bottle at 12 months, 18 max, but we’ve missed that boat completely. And I’ve surreptitiously avoided mentioning that Mason takes a pacifier at night. I don’t have the heart to deprive Mason of two things that he loves so much. At least not yet. I mean, nobody ever went to kindergarten with a pacifier or a bottle. Right? Right?
Although I’m passionate about Mason keeping his creature comforts, I’m way too embarrassed to let him take a paci to the playground or (gasp) school. And the bottle is strictly forbidden unless it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night. And we’re home. Just the three of us. Alone.
Anyone else have a tot as bottle- and pacifier-obsessed as mine?