Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Rise and Fall of the Nuk

As parents, the Wife and I love nuks. You may know them as pacifiers, or even binkies, but in our house we call them "nukies", (which rhymes with cookie) as in "Daddy, can you help me find my nukie?" (spoken in a whiny, 2-year-old's voice at approximately 2:48 AM, when all I want to do is sleep.)

Nuks are an amazing invention. Who would have ever thought that a simple plastic oval with a rubber nipple attached to it could bring so much calm to a household. We have given nuks to all of our kids, from an early age, and thankfully they took to them like a pack of starving hyenas to a bloated wildebeest.

We try to only give our babies their nuks at nap time or when they are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, which is often. Having a nuk in their mouth brings an almost immediate sense of calm to a screaming baby. At least some of the time. Once they are a year old or so (my wife may contradict what I say about how old they were - she remembers things better than I do, so that's cool), toddling around the house, we switch that to only at nap time and night time. We did that with our oldest, the Girl, because we thought that if she only had her nukie when she was in bed, it would be easier to ween her off of it when she got older. That wasn't necessarily the case, but she is finally almost entirely weened, now that she is 3-and-a-half.

The Boy, who is 2, still clings to his nukie like one of the aforementioned starving hyenas, but we are hopeful that we will be able to ween him off it in the coming months.

With the Baby, we have had an entirely different set of problems concerning her nukies. We lose them. She's only been on God's green earth for a little over 8 months, and we have already lost approximately 4,000 of her nukies. Who knows where they end up? We certainly don't. And we never had that problem with either of the other kids' nukies. I don't think we ever lost a single one of theirs. It's an odd phenomenon that can only be attributed to Mommy and Daddy's lingering cases of threechilditis. Hopefully we'll find a cure for that by the time all of our kids are weened off their nuks. Don't hold your breath.