Friday, January 27, 2006

Paci Wrasslin'

I've gotten very, very good at something I call "paci wrasslin'" (paci wrestling to those of you not in the south). Well, as good as you can get. One never truly wins at paci wrasslin', I don't think.

Basically, the way it works is this: Aidan has a love/hate relationship with his pacifier. He wants it, but when he gets it, he can only tolerate it for so long before he decides that if he doesn't get it out of his mouth right this very second!!!!, he will puke. Seriously. He'll be just fine and peaceful, suckin' right along, when suddenly he'll gag and cough and forcefully eject paci. Either that or he will use his hands to rip it from his mouth in white-hot rage.

BUT!

Once it's out, he realizes what he's done, and then there is the rooting, then the pucker and finally the regretful wail. He wants paci back. But not right away, mind you. He has to make sure you understand the depth of his displeasure at having lost it (or, rather, ripped it out of his mouth) before he allows you to put it back in.

This can go on for an hour or more before eventually he falls asleep. It's insanity inducing enough during the daytime hours. It's much much worse to deal with this after, say, the 2:30AM feeding.

This morning we had a bout of paci wrasslin' that lasted from about 4:30 until around 7 or so. We had a short break for a feeding and a diaper change, but it was probably the longest he's gone, and also, I regret to say, the loudest he's been. Today I am exhausted, and because of this, paci wrasslin' is very much on my mind.

If there were an Olympic gold medal for paci wrasslin', I think I could win it. I can paci wrassle with the best of them - indeed, I can paci wrassle with only one hand, which is quite a feat, considering it can sometimes require holding down both his arms, while simulaneously holding in the paci and stroking his jaw or chin to get him to suck on it (my years of playing the piano come in very handy here - my fingers are very long and very flexible).

I've become a very good judge (but, alas, not yet perfect) of whether he really wants to spit/rip it out, or whether he just has forgotten it's there to begin with; whether to hold his hands so he doesn't claw his face in wrath, or whether to just shield paci itself and let the hands go free; the precise moment to let paci go to avoid the wrath and the wailing, and the precise moment he's ready to take it back.

By the time I manage to get this all down to a science, he'll be able to do it all himself.

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