Moms and dads, let’s have a chat.
A chat about this thing:
And why it’s so controversial. (As if that photo isn’t controversial enough, amirite? Jesus people you all need to calm the eff down about this thing.)
(Around here we call it a suss, short for sussie, which is what it’ll be referred to throughout the ride. Please keep your hands and arms inside the article at all times, until you reach the end. Then and ONLY THEN can you yell at me on Twitter.)
A while back, a mom-friend of mine told me a story about how when she was at the grocery store with her toddler, a complete fuckin’ stranger walked up and took the suss out of her son’s mouth. The stranger then proceeded to tell my friend that her son was too old for the suss, and then walked away with that holier-than-thou air that people who haven’t dealt with small children in a long time seem to possess.
What if I told you I do the same thing with your kid when they’re at daycare.
Read on, my turtle doves! Let’s have an open conversation about the seemingly neverending point of contention in the child-rearing world: The Pacifier.
Listen, I’m all for the suss. I fondly call it the Mute Button, especially when in use with little babies, ones that need that latch sensation to feel soothed and comforted. But there are Ways to Use these little buttons, as far as I’m concerned. And before you blow up on your daycare provider when you find out that they’re doing the same thing I am, take a minute to understand WHY we do what we do when it comes to the dreaded suss.
First things first, let’s get some misconceptions out of the way about why I don’t let your kid have their suss at daycare, shall we?
We’re Not Being Malicious
I know it’s hard for parents to wrap their brains around, especially when you tend to spend 90% of their daily 10 minute interactions with daycare providers abusing and belittling them, but we actually love your kids almost as much as you do. Flaws and all. And when it comes to the suss, we don’t take it away because we like to see them cry. We do it for a multitude of reasons, and as experienced and educated professionals, we actually know what we’re doing. Give us a little bit of your trust, and we’ll help you and your kids go a LONG way.
There Are Other Kids in Our Care That Aren’t Yours
I talk about this a lot here, but it bears repeating: Your kid isn’t the only one I’m looking after. And if I’ve got one mother that rips me a new one if I even let her kid LOOK at their suss during the day, while at the same time another one that calls me to the carpet for a public shaming for not letting her kid suck away all day every day…How is that fair to the kids themselves? They can see the inconsistencies, and they can see the unfairness. If he gets his suss, why can’t I have mine? If we set a blanket standard, it allows for fairness and stability, and for no one child to get singled out as being “wrong” or “spoiled”.
We’re Actually Doing You A Favour
Eventually, they’re going to grow out of the suss. It’s natural! And it’ll come a lot more naturally if you don’t force it, and let them develop their own self-soothing habits. By setting the standard of not letting your kid go at the suss all day at daycare, we’re helping prepare them for the day that they say goodbye to it forever.
We’re The Bad Guys. You’re Welcome.
As far as your kid is concerned, Miss M is the meanie that doesn’t let her have her suss, and mommy does. You’re. Fuckin’. Welcome.
When They REALLY Need It, It’s Theirs
As stated earlier, we love your kids. LOVE them, guys. And we hate hearing them cry just as much as the next person. So when it’s naptime? Or when they’re sick? Or when they’ve been completely inconsolable for longer than their usual tantrum? Yeah. We give them the suss. We’re not monsters.
Look, at the end of the day, I don’t come into your place of work and tell you how to do it. Nor do I come into your home and tell you how to parent. But when your kids are in my care? They play by my rules. And if I say the suss is only for naptime or emergencies, the suss is only for naptime or emergencies. End of discussion.
You want to give them the suss at home? Cool. You do you.
But daycare isn’t home. And I think a lot of you have forgotten that.