Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Binky This

I take some strange pride in the fact that le Petit will not take a pacifier.

Of course, this isn't thanks to us at all, and it isn't for lack of trying. I remember how in the first weeks I would stare jealously at other mothers wheeling their content, pacifier-chomping offspring down the street. Le Petit dubiously accepted the pacifier at first, sucking dutifully for a few minutes each time it was presented, but soon learned that it was a useless enterprise.

No milk? No way! He seemed to be saying as he let it fall out of his mouth as he howled.

We learned what many parents before us have learned -- and as Marie Darrieussecq so eloquently says -- that refusing to take a pacifier is a baby's first way of imposing his will upon the world, of saying forcefully This Will Not Do.

Now, three months on, I'm proud of him for being a discerning, accept no substitutes kind of kid. I think he may grow up to be a Michelin inspector. Anyway, how can I help but be flattered by his "Mom or nothing" attitude? What can I say, he has high standards.

Our collection of "binkies" still sits on a bookshelf in le Petit's room. I'm not sure whether to throw them out right away or keep them for a while as a monument to his adorable stubbornness, to his refusal to have his voice or his will stifled. Will I find this character trait -- which I've assured my husband comes from him -- as cute when le Petit hits toddlerhood? Stay tuned. One thing is certain: the kid's got personality and is determined to wear it proudly, and that I can only admire.

He's still working on finding his thumb, though, and I'll admit I'm standing on the sidelines, cheering.

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