Sucky vs. Guitar

IMG_2895Pacifier: 1) a person or thing that pacifies; 2) a rubber or plastic device, often shaped as a nipple, for a baby to suck on.

Hence our name for it: sucky. We gave Jack a pacifier in the first few days of his life because he wasn’t nursing well. We thought the pacifier would help him learn to suck and it did. He only has his sucky when he is sleeping, but since dentists recommend quitting the pacifier around age 2, we have been warning Jack for months that “some day soon there will be no more sucky.”

On another note, I’ve been compiling ideas for Christmas gifts for Jack and at the top of that list is a guitar. After debating the merits of a kid guitar from Toys R Us for $30 or a real 3/4 size guitar from a real music store for $130, I decided the cheap one would do. Jack could still learn some chords, learn to strum, and learn to be gentle with it, but without the necessity of being gentle with an expensive guitar.

Then, last week while putting Jack in bed, Jeff says “Jack do you want to trade your sucky IMG_5207for a guitar?” Bribery and Reward are very similar in parenting. Jack said yes, but then understood he would lose his sucky and changed his mind. This continued for a few days until I actually bought the guitar so Jack could see and touch what he would get IF he gave up his sucky. Although from the beginning of this random, undiscussed plan of Jeff’s, that I did not agree to, I questioned the trade … it’s not like you can sleep with a guitar.

IMG_5214So Wednesday night we took his sucky and gave him a guitar. He loved the guitar! Played it, jumped around, danced and sang. Then asked for his sucky. Basically he has spent the last two nights in our bed, but without a sucky. He has been rewarded with candy in the morning (isn’t that also bad for your teeth?) and extra stuffed animal friends in his bed, in addition to the guitar.

Today at nap time Jack cried and asked for his sucky for 20 minutes… and let’s just say this Mommy’s resolve isn’t so strong when I don’t have back up from Daddy. A few big tears and a sad face … “If you promise to go to sleep right away you can have the sucky. But you only get it today as a special thing. You don’t get it tonight.”

Jack giggled and smiled. He knew he won. But he did go to sleep right away.