For those of you who read my temper tantrum, you know the intimidation factor that exists for me with my kids’ pediatrician. He is a “by the book” kind of guy and dishes out ALL the textbook advice that you read for yourself on the internet but don’t really want to do. It’s one thing when you’re skimming over an article at babycenter.com, but when you’re listening to a living, breathing advice-giver (who makes eye contact and has a ‘judge-y smirk’) it’s much harder to admit you think he’s full of it.

I don’t always even think he’s full of it. Sometimes I think his advice is really right on. But sometimes I just want to grab him by the stethiscope and say…”STOP PRESSURING ME!!!! I’m doing the best I can!!!” Even if it IS good advice, it doesn’t mean I can DO IT. Come on, man.

Anyway, he’s always been one to “encourage” parents to teach their kids to fall asleep on their own. I wont’ bore you with all the reasons why, but he’s really against pacifiers at bedtime…or bottles…or being rocked to sleep (not me, the baby).  Ever since my first child was born, I have had to come face to face with this question EVERY appointment for EACH  and EVERY kid.

“Is he falling asleep on his own?”

Each time, I’d find myself making a thousand excuses, trying to explain WHY the answer was always “no”. Because the answer always WAS no. And it was just so hard to admit I wasn’t doing it the way he thought I should be.

But here’s the cool part of the story. Thanks to what I like to call “Third Kid Syndrome” (see footnote below for complete definition of this), I experienced a HUGE victory in the doctor’s office the other day. I could almost hear the wild west music and see tumbleweed swirling around behind me. Guns drawn…ready aim fire…I took that guy DOWN!

I was there for Garrett’s 9 month check up and after all the typical formalities, we eventually got to the sleeping question.But this time was different. With confidence, I looked him dead in the eyes and I said,

“NO. He doesn’t fall asleep on his own, he uses his pacifier”.

But I didn’t stop there. I don’t remember my exact rant, but I recall it went something like this:

“I absolutely love it. He loves it. I love it. It totally works for us. And it’s not even an issue with him losing it in the middle of the night because we attach it to his pajamas so now he can put it back in whenever he wants. It’s with him wherever he goes which is fabulous. It’s fantastic. Best thing ever invented. Best.”

And then I even demonstrated the lovliness of it all by picking the pacifier up right there and plopping it in Garrett’s mouth for the doctor to see for himself.

And there we were…me and Chick Magnet just staring at him with true bravado. An absolute force to be reckoned with. This is my parenting decision and I stand behind it. Not only does he use a pacifier but I have PURCHASED a device that ATTACHES it to my baby so that he is sure to get addicted to it. What do you think of that doc?!

VICTORY!!! After four and a half years of intimidation, I finally answered a question with unfaltering confidence!! I am mother, hear me roar!!! I know I don’t like football, but I would have LOVED to do a touchdown dance right then.

“Go Me. Go Me. It’s your Paci! We love it!”

Aaahhhh…what a great day. I know this probably seems absurd to some of you but if you only KNEW how far I’ve come.  I’m not a perfect mother but I’m FINALLY learning to be OK with that. And I’m realizing that everyone is going to have an opinion and it really doesn’t matter.  I know I’m doing the best I can and if someone thinks that’s not good enough then THEY can lose sleep at night, not me.

I know I’m sleeping well…thanks to my pacifier-having baby and his fancy gadget. :)


*Third Kid Syndrome: The effect that having multiple children has on parenting style, decision-making AND on otherwise perfection-seeking parents. With Third Kid Syndrome, there becomes a striking difference between new mothers and parents of multiple children. Where new mothers will usher their child to the restroom upon need, a typical symptom of parents with Third Kid Syndrome might be  gesturing with one hand to a pine tree around the corner. Where new moms might  nurse babies until they are 1 year old, Third Kid Syndrome can cause early weaning…or allowing children to eat lint off the floor. Positive side effects of Third Kid Syndrome include but are not limited to: relaxing a little, learning to let go, and gaining a better understanding that children will be in therapy later no matter how hard you try anyway.

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