Saturday, February 23, 2008

Separation anxiety...

As I navigated our aircraft carrier, uh...I mean our double baby stroller out of the doctor's office yesterday the pediatrician took notice of Lily riding merrily in the front, pacifier in between her cute little cheeks, and immediately halted us:

Doctor: "Hey Mom, Ms. Lily is too old for the pacifier. It's got to go."

Me: "Okay Hitler Nazi, sure! Nevermind the fact that she is just beginning to fully adjust to a new baby in the house, that she has relocated her position in Mom and Dad's comfy bed, that she watches a newborn nurse on her Mom's breast with weepy nostalgia, and that she now endures a 87% increase in the amounts of "No's!" she hears daily, I'll go right on ahead and take her beloved "Binkie" away too. Her "Puwple" (purple) binkie, her "Penk" (Pink) binkie, her "Owwwange" (orange) binkie. I might as well cut off her right arm, send her to college, and make her begin paying for her own groceries while I'm at it. Thank you, Doctor Ruinourlives.

Actually, that was the response in my overly protective mother's heart. The vocal response went more like this:

"I know, Doctor, I'm embarrassed that we've carried it along this far. We're working on it!"
Smile. Force polite little giggle. Walk away. Feel like miserable loser of a parent that just got caught stealing candy from the supermarket.

Is it just me or do all pediatricians have a way of making you feel like a moron? Unintentionally, of course. I know this. But why do I feel embarrassed when I asked to be reassured for the 15th time that this current vaccination is not going to give my child autism? Why am I embarrassed when the pediatrician tells me that I need to remove the darling little pink pearl bracelet from my infant because it poses a choking hazard? Why am I embarrassed when she asks me if I have give Lily nursery water, or Vitamin D drops and I say no...because frankly I don't believe she needs any of that and would like to live a little more naturally.
I'm embarrassed because I've been exposed. Nakedly, I stand before the one person who seems to be onto the fact that I really don't know what in heavens name I am doing. And I feel that way most of the time. This parenting thing is difficult. I try to take the binkie away, I really do. But then I hear the sobbing and crying and think, "Is my child going to be on Dr. Phil someday because of insecurities that trace back to her mother abruptly removing her binkie from her existence?" Is there some Freudian concept that I have not yet heard that links all wrongful adult human behavior to the occurrences of discomfort and adjustment during our two years of life, as toddlers?

I always second guess everything. All the time. And yet, my parents and the parents before me seemed so at ease, so comfortable.
"Oh yeah..." they say, "Back when we were raising children we let them have binkies till they were eleven, brushed teeth on a weekly basis, and didn't have seatbelts. It was good for them! Made em grow up tough....strong. You turned out fine."
I suppose. Hopefully, even with all the second guessing my kid will turn out fine as well. So for now, on the pacifier subject, I plan on taking the pediatrician's advice. My child is growing up...and I want to cry over little milestone's like these.
The Binkie fairy will be visiting our house soon. Pray for me...Stay tuned...

This one has nothing to do with a binkie, it's just so cute of her little body!


Joan Koplin said...

Forget those dumb doctors! What do they know!? Jimmie is three years old today and he (at this very moment) watching "The Incredibles" with binkie in mouth! I am serious though...I know that when parents take binkies away too soon that the child will develop other habits such as chewing on pens or biting their nails etc. Children have an inherent need to suck until they are three years of age. So, let Lily have her pacifier for heaven sake and tell your doctor: "I appreciate the advice, but I am her Mother and know what is best for her."

Laina said...

Rae, you crack me up! I read your blog while I was talking to Ray. I tried to focus on what he was saying, but I was caught when I literally could not contain my laughter when I read the "Hitler Nazi" response. I confessed what I was doing and then much to Ray's delight I'm sure, I continuted reading - outloud. :)

I think that eveyone feels like they don't know what they are doing. Some people just pretent to know what they're doing and they are just obnoxious. That being said, you ARE an amazing mother! Plus, you had an great example to learn from... your mom. I have always loved hearing your family stories so it's fun that you're creating your own Haack family memories now!

I love reading the stories. Keep them coming.