Choosing a Pacifier

Posted on | August 9, 2011 | 11 Comments

Every night, my son goes to bed with a pacifier in his mouth, one in each hand, and a Mickey Mouse and a Panda stuffed animal somewhere in his bed.  He’s often asked for more pacifiers but I draw the line at three.

It never fails that every morning when he wakes up, Panda and Mickey Mouse are either on the floor or hanging half off the bed and at least two of the pacifiers are under the bed.  He only really needed one pacifier… just one to pop in and out of his mouth if he wakes up too soon. And yet he insists on having them all, plus the stuffed animals, as though they alone can ward away all manner of bad dreams and bad thoughts.

He only needs one… the others are all discarded through out the night, strewn this way and that with abandon because even he knows that really? He only needs one.

And this morning I started thinking about my little pacifier hoarding son and how he so clearly mimics the world around him.  I have way too much stuff, y’all. I have gadgets that I’ve never even used.  I have an entire set of china that we got as wedding gifts and I’ve only served food on it once in four years.

We are collectors of things we don’t need… second cars, second (and third) credit cards, accent furniture, guest towels and sheets, crystal stem ware that is “too fragile to use.”  If I piled all of that in bed with me every night, all the useless nicknacks and formal dresses left over from prom… all the many pairs of shoes and the costume jewelry and dear LORD the Bath and Body Works lotions in every variety under the sun… how much of that would end up under the bed? How much would be totally and completely forgotten by the time I woke up the next morning?

Honestly, I’d probably suffocate in my sleep if I pulled all that into bed with me.

And yet, I’ve sort of realized lately that I carry around a lot of other useless things that DO make it into the bed with me each night.  I carry around a backpack full of money concerns about J’s future and mortgage payments.  I carry around an over-sized purse of doubt about my ability to be a lawyer and doubt of my ability to be the writer I always wanted to be.  I carry around a pile of hats, one stacked atop the other like the man in Caps for Sale, balancing the “Competent attorney/single mom” hat precariously above the one marked “loves dirty humor” and the tattered pink “still cries at Disney movies” hat.  And those are just the concerns… I carry around a lot of pacifiers, too.  Thoughts of happily ever after, dreams of winning the lottery, visions of becoming a respected, published author who writes in a well-lit sunroom, surrounded by, of course, many leather-bound books.

It’s a wonder that there is any room in my bed for me amidst all the junk I carry around, the doubts and the fears and the hopes and the dreams.  Wouldn’t it be nice if they just rolled off the bed in the night the way J’s pacifiers do? 

Wouldn’t it be nice to lay down in the evening, surrounded by all the madness and know that when you woke up in the morning, the only thing that remained was the thing you loved best… the thing you needed most? And I started thinking about what WOULD be left, if everything rolled away.  And it didn’t take me long to know what that would be for me.

If I could go to bed every night with all the junk in my life piled around me, and know without a doubt that the only thing that would remain in the morning was the one thing that soothed me most, I’d wake up every morning to crisp white sheets and a warm snuggle from my one-pacifier-ed son.

That’s what’s important.

That’s my one pacifier.

So I’m going to start working to get rid of all the rest of the nonsense and make room for a lot more time with him, a lot more late night song sessions of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” with his high soprano bouncing the words happily around my 2:00 am grumble.  There will be a lot more room for “nugs” as he calls snuggles.  There will be a lot more time for cooking dinner together, eating dinner together, and building bristle block houses for the horses. 

If my hands are free from all my other pacifiers, all my comfort zones, all my crazy ideas… they will be wide open.  They will be free to tickle and hug and rock and love. 

And all I really need is the one pacifier, anyway.

Comments

11 Responses to “Choosing a Pacifier”

  1. Chunky Mama
    August 9th, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Thanks for making me weep in front of a bunch of strangers at the DMV. 🙂
    Lovely post as usual.

  2. Mom on a Line
    August 9th, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    I LOVE this post. Simply beautiful.

  3. Tracy
    August 9th, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    Love this! And I think you are motivating me here momma!

  4. Erica Snipes
    August 9th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    Amen. Thanks for the perspective, and the beautiful writing. 🙂

  5. What are your comfort items? What should they be? » The Best of Everything
    August 9th, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    […] beautiful post called Choosing a Pacifier on the blog Spilled Milk puts this into words so well – read it and then think about what your life […]

  6. Jessica
    August 9th, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I needed it.

  7. Mama Fisch
    August 9th, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    I haven’t commented in a while but this post resonated with me. I love it. I too have been thinking about all the things that “clutter” our minds and lives and I am ready to do a sweep of it all. Hang in there lady!

  8. Dre
    August 9th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Love this one. I have all those hats too (except the “single” part of the mom one). And I also have a pacifier-hording son. Some mornings I don’t notice the ones in his clenched hands and when I take out the one in his mouth to hear his good mornings to me, he just pops another immediately in his mouth. Funny how a horrific day can be physically wiped away (if only for a few moments) by snuggling your child. That is my pacifier. And I have two.

  9. luna
    August 9th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    aw, i love this! and you are such a great writer, youll get your sunlight room soon enough, i know it, so why worry and push it? it’s coming…

  10. Sara
    August 10th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    What a great, great perspective… thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  11. New Mom on the Blog
    August 10th, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Oh, this is just beautiful.
    Also, I find it adorable that he actually holds pacifiers in his hands in addition to one in his mouth. I can kind of see why you don’t fight him on it. It’s precious.
    Love it.
    I am so so so guilty of the same.

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