Aimee Horton

When it’s all about dummies.


Dummies, Diddy, Noo-Noo, Soother, Pacifier, Doh-Doh, Peace Plug, whatever you refer to them as we all have our opinions on dummies.

What’s mine?  Well I hate them, not because I don’t believe in them.  I’m not against them – although I do have my limits after seeing them used to stop a child talking at a parent, rather then for comfort.  But I hate them for the pure and simple reason that the Chunky Monkey is an addict.

Before I had my children I didn’t want to go down the dummy route.  No real reason, I’m just not a fan per se.  Then I had The Beast, and on about week two after very little sleep and literally being sucked dry on an hourly basis I ignored the much finger wagging from the Midwife, and after I’d tried and I quote ‘letting him suckle your little finger he won’t know the difference” (he BLOODY WELL did) I caved.

The little bugger treasure refused.

I continued to try dutifully for weeks, possibly even months; I tried a million different types and brands.  I was desperate, the child wouldn’t stop crying, and wouldn’t stop feeding, wouldn’t go to sleep without me in his mouth or being bounced up and down like he was on a piece of elastic (I seriously considered tying his feeding pillow to a pulley system and taping him too it).  But he never took to it.  As he got older I watched my friends as they struggled to wean their children off their dummies I was relieved, it meant, for once, my child was the pain free one. HA.

Then the Chunky Monkey came along, I bought a pack of dummies just in case.  Even though he was a good baby, he was still a newborn, so within a week I’d cracked and he was hooked. Peace ensued on the Horton household.  The whole newborn baby thing was a breeze in comparison to first time round, over night instead of numerous night feeds, if he woke up I’d simply pop the dummy in and he slept through.  I made a rule, 6 months no more in the day, and 1 year we’d bin it at night.  THAT was how it was going to work. Yes. Yes it was.

Then it all went horribly wrong.  He started to rely on the blinkin’ thing.  He’d wake up as SOON as it fell out of his mouth; it happened around the time he started teething and then caught chicken pox.  This happened to be around the time of his 6 month anniversary.  I made excuses, after all, it would be cruel to take it away from him while he was teething wouldn’t it?

We continued on, kidding ourselves that we’d dump it as soon as he was better.  As the first anniversary of his birth approached we decided that we’d do it all in one big chunk.  His 1st birthday came, and as I put him to bed, he *may* have had two dummies clipped to him and one in either hand.  Not only had he become reliant, but so had I.

Now he’s two.  He’s a fully fledged talking little boy.  And we’re he’s as addicted as ever.  Whilst the general rule is no dummy in the day, unless I’ve got a headache he’s properly upset somehow they seem to appear in our day to day lives.  I trip over them, stand on them, discover them in my slippers and under my pillow.  The lack of them makes him grumpy and irritable.  Basically, he’s how I am when it’s my turn to drive on a night out and can’t have a gin.

I KNOW it’s time to get rid of them.  I worry about his teeth, I worry it’s going to impact his speech, and to be honest, I just don’t like them.

However, I have no idea how to remove them from our lives.  I mean, what is a good age? Should I have done it earlier?  When he didn’t understand? When I was doing controlled crying?  Now he sees them from miles away – he’s been known to push chairs or pile up cushions to clamber up to retrieve one on a windowsill behind a photo frame, have we left it too late?

He’s two after all, he has the reasoning skills of…well…a two year old.  You know the kind, “no darling you can’t jump up and down in that puddle of wee….no I don’t care that it’s your own…” results in a full blown 35 minute tantrum.

Thing is.  If we’re being completely honest, it’s not just his reaction I’m worried about.  It’s mine.  Let’s face it.  He’s started sleeping through this week. The only night he didn’t sleep through was because I’d not clipped a dummy to him and he woke up and couldn’t find it.

Do I really want to impact my finally fairly peaceful nights sleep?  The answer is not really.   I know that motherhood is full of sacrifices, but am I really willing to sacrifice that newly discovered waking up not feeling like death experience?

I think right now the answer is “No”.  Perhaps it will be his New Years resolution?  After all he does need one, The Beast’s is “not to say WHYYY???” 3784957 times a day.  Or maybe he’ll do it naturally, after all The Beast swapped his blankets for Pat and Elmo all on his own.


When your children outwit you…constantly.


This isn’t a post I’m particularly proud of, let’s face it, who would be?

I’ve only just come to terms with the fact that the three and a half year old beast is smarter then me.  I’m becoming wise to his crafty sneaky ways, and although I shouldn’t admit it, I’m quite proud of them.

The Beast doesn’t do anything sinister, just the odd thing, for example on Easter Sunday claiming he was “allll full up” at breakfast, leaving it exactly 19 minutes before asking for chocolate.

Or the time he convinced me to let him put his Spiderman costume on over his jeans and t.shirt, only to point out that it was now no longer too cold to go outside in it, as he has his clothes on too. (I should have seen that one coming really).

Or perhaps the time he managed to con me into calling him a “big boy” after a 20 minute game of “why?”, then reminding me that I said once he was a “big boy” he could have two wheels on his scooter instead of three.  Oh.

However, I do take issue to the fact that a child who isn’t even 18 months old for another 10 days has started to outwit me, what I can’t decide is, if he means to or not, and if that is better or worse?

An example of the said outsmarting is Fatso and his constant stash of dummies.  I have no idea where he keeps them, but whenever I think I’ve hidden them all on a shelf in his bedroom (he’s only really meant to have them at nap time…but that’s another post for later in the week), he appears a few minutes later looking very pleased with himself dummy in mouth.

I don’t understand where they are, I know that there are still three missing.  I’ve checked under the sofa, under the coffee table, in his sock drawer, under his mattress, in the toy box.  But they are nowhere to be found.  I also don’t know how he keeps topping up the supply, does he sneak out of bed at night and do the switch?

I probably shouldn’t be surprised, for as long as he could crawl, the fat one has also set up a hidden stash of treats somewhere on the middle floor.  I didn’t notice to start with, I just thought it was just the odd end of a bread stick he’d dropped from the day before.  However, when he started sitting in front of the tv with a full packet of raisins, or a ginger nut biscuit (WE HAVEN’T HAD THOSE FOR MONTHS! I don’t think I’ve even given him one before!!), I realised something was a miss.

I’ve looked behind the sofa, inside the speakers, in the tissue box. NU-THING.

So where do I go from here?  How have I not noticed things sneaking up the stairs?  But more worryingly, what will I do when they are teenagers?  I don’t stand a chance do I?

Perhaps (as I quote John Bishop), “everyday, a little bit of lovliness falls off as they grow up”, maybe a little bit of their clever, crafty, sneaky side falls off too?  Is that how a boy who WON’T SHUT UP FOR FIVE MINUTES, suddenly turns into a grunting mass with no communication skills? (I have no proof that this is what happens, I’m just going on the rumours I’ve heard).

Either way.  I need to know where this food stash is as I’ve run out of chocolate digestives.