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Clothy and Dummy


Emily loved her clothy and dummy. It didn't take much convincing to get her to take a dummy as a baby, and that was that. Around the time she was one and a half, we taught her that clothy and dummy were for sleeping only. So she'd have them in the car (bearing in mind this was the UK and most trips were long and involved a nap), and in her cot. We very rarely had a problem with this. We wouldn't take them around with us so there was no risk of us caving when she begged for them and sleep was no where close.

Because she only used them to sleep we didn't particularly mind her using them. This was until she began eating them both. She would chew on her dummy and even her clothy. We successfully took away her dummy about six months ago and left her with clothy, but the eating of clothy got even worse - to the extent that we were concerned she would choke on it and I often wondered about all the fibres she was swallowing. After three days, we gave dummy back to her in a bid to stop the muslin cloth chewing and decided we'd work on taking clothy away instead.


A while later, we introduced a blanket instead of clothy. A blanket that was very precious because it belonged to Emily when she was a baby, and Mummy chose it when Emily was still in Mummy's tummy. This seemed to work - the blanket never went past her lips, and she accepted it (eventually) as her clothy replacement.

We began hinting at the fact that she might be old enough to stop using a dummy. It wasn't an idea that was welcomed. So we dropped it and planned to tackle it later.

Come Christmas Eve, she suddenly begged and begged for a clothy back and she must have caught me in a weak moment because I fished one out of its hiding place and handed it back to her. The happiness was indescribable. She gently drew patterns around her face with the corner, and she wanted to show me exactly what she was doing so she did the same to my face too. I could understand why it relaxed her so much.


And then, just like that, she handed clothy and her dummy to me and said, "Mummy, you need to give clothy and dummy to Father Christmas because a little baby might need them. I'm not a little baby anymore, I don't need them."

I was shocked. I actually tried to convince her otherwise. I made it clear that if we gave them to another baby, she would not be able to get them back. Ever. She said she was ok with that.

I (slightly brokenheartedly) took them out of her room with me that night, a part of me dreading the distraught little girl I would need to face the next day.

But the little girl wasn't distraught. She was perfectly fine and she was happy that she'd helped a little baby.

There were a couple of moments, a few weeks later, when she randomly remembered clothy and dummy and sobbed her little heart out over them. I genuinely feel she mourned them. I hugged her and let her mourn. It happened maybe three times over the space of two months.

And just like that, Emily grew out of her clothy and dummy. Had anyone told me two days before Christmas Eve that she'd do that, I'd have exploded with laughter. It was then that I knew that potty training would be down to her too, so I took the pressure off, (mostly) stopped mentioning it, and - yup, we got there.

But that's another story for another day.

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