05 August 2011

My Pacifier and Why I Didn't Give One to My Children

When I was a little girl, I loved my pipek, my pacifier.  And why wouldn't I have?  At only 1 1/2, I had already lived through Communism and snuck over the Polish border (with the potentially penalty of death) into Austria, leaving all our family and belongings, including all my toys, behind. 

In Austria, we waited for American paperwork and my mother became pregnant with my brother.

To say I had a stressful first few years of life is accurate.  But, all in all, I was still a very happy child.

I did, after all, have pipek.

One day, in the Austrian countryside, when I was a little over 2 years old, my parents convinced me to throw my beloved pipek to the chickens.  After all, I was a "big girl".

I threw it willingly and the chickens celebrated this new treat by fighting over it and trying to figure out how to use it themselves, as they had no lips.

Little did my parents know that in the middle of the night I would have a toddler conniption fit which would bring my father out into the night looking and hunting for a replacement pipek throughout the village we stayed and even visiting another village near us until he found one.

He has told me since that I not only wanted my pipek but a blue one with a flower.  Yes, I was specific.  And chic.

I went on to use my beloved pipek until I was about 3 1/2 years old, when my parents made me give it up against my will.  At the time, we were living in the US in a townhouse with my new brother, having had my hand severly burned by accident and learning my third language by then.

Later on, my pipek caused my father to have to get me braces as a teenager.

So, when my children were born, I offered them each 5 different styles of pipeks a total of 3 times each.  They refused them and I celebrated that we wouldn't have to go through anything like what my parents did. 

I got quite a bit of grief from some friends and a pediatric nurse for not allowing them to have a pipek.

But, guess what?  My children didn't cry or whine anymore than children who did use pacifiers.  When they wanted to suck on something, I nursed them.  And they grew.

To each their own.

I'll try to find a picture of myself as a small child with my beloved pipek.

Na razie...


Megryansmom said...

I provided care for a family with three children, none of whom used a pacifier. The parents feared the trauma of breaking the habit. Unfortunately I myself was not successful in not using a pacifier for my kids or grandsons. My daughter was a thumb sucker and I think that was harder to break as well as more expensive when it was time for orthodontia.

I think it's great that you could comfort your girls without one.

Anonymous said...

I did not have smoczek, neither any of my siblings. My daughter didn't have. At some point my husband was willing to give her something to make her stop crying but at the end she didn't get it. I'm very happy about that. Everytime I see just born baby with smoczek I get very irritated. I think giving pacifiers to new borns is wrong. I understand a situation where the kid doesn't want to stop crying no matter what for days and days. In this situation I would consider a pacifier, but different than that. Nop. thank you!

I hope you are well!

Rima said...

I still remember the day I waited by the curb for the garbage truck and handed my "broken" (my parents had punched a hole in it) pacifier to the garbage collector myself. I think it's my earliest memory because I must have been about two years old.