They linger in the couch cushions. They hide beneath the refrigerator. They toil under blankets or inside shoes, waiting restlessly until their services are once again required.

I'm referring to pacifiers, the scourge of my existence.

Smiley is almost two.  She still uses her pacifier. We call them lollies.  I don't know why.  No big deal. Smartypants didn't abandon hers until her 3rd birthday. Still, given Smiley's demonic tendencies, I feel a need to begin the weening process early to avoid potential troubles later.

So I tell her, "You don't need a lolly during the day."

She asks, "Why?"

I don't fall into that trap. Instead, I take the lolly away. She fusses, then disappears. Next time I see her, she has a lolly in her mouth.

"Where did you get that?" Her eyes open wide, her eyebrows raise in innocence, and that pesky little Smiley grin splits open her face. <span style="font-style: italic;">What do you mean</span>, the look implies.  "Where did you get that?" I ask again.

"I don't know."

"Well you don't need it."


I don't fall for it this time either. I take the lolly away. She fusses, then disappears. Next time I see her... You guessed it. Start again.

"Where did you get that?" "I don't know." "Well you don't need it." "Why?" "Because you're a big girl now, and big girls don't use lollies."

OOPS!!! First rule of parenting: Never fall into the Why/Because loop. As good as your intentions are, it's bound to cause trouble. In fact, my next post will be all about this problem.

"Why?" "Because big girls talk and smile, they don't suck on lollies." "Why?" "Because lollies are for babies." "Why?" "Because I said so!" (Yes, we all sound like our parents eventually.)

She has about a dozen lollies scattered throughout the house. I can account for maybe three of them. The rest hide in seclusion among the scattered destruction wrought by my adorable little girls. Smiley knows where they are. Whenever we leave the house or she goes to bed, she pretends to need my assistance locating one, but surely that's because I can't be allowed to discover her secret hiding spots.

It's a troublesome dilemma, being outsmarted by a two-year-old.  But what's a daddy to do?


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