Bringing up baby

Already I am dealing with it, the tug between convenience and integrity, between Satan and taking up, in a manner of speaking, your cross. Yesterday, we finally concluded that, evidently, Adam had grown beyond being palliated by a finger. When he wanted to suck, he no longer could be palmed off with a cuticled succadeneum. So I came up with the idea of a sucette - pacifier, which on the best child
rearing authority (i.e, The Simpsons) has a tonic and calming effect on the wee one. Thus, I sortied out in the dusk last night, and visited several pharmacies until I found one for the 0-3 months set, as the package helpfully advised. Coming back, I was eager to plug it into Adam’s mouth, figuring child rearing would now be a snap, what with the enormous docility that would flow from the thing.

The thing. Indeed, in the plain light of day, a pacifier is a rather disgusting thing. A pulpy plastic nipple that looks as appetizing as wet newspaper, attached to a band of plastic shaped in the form of mouth, except bigger, with a plastic ring – reminiscent of the ring in the snout of a pig – attached to the other side, so I suppose you can unplug the child. In my haste to apply the patented Simpsons treatment, I didn’t notice that the entire mechanism depends on the baby’s will. If the baby doesn’t apply the inward sucking, the pacifier will, evidently, fall out of its mouth. I was thinking more in terms of the cork on a wine bottle, but applying the thing, I saw that my vague image of how this thing would work forgot the perfect lack of will characteristic of most wine bottles (at least until after the fifth glass, at which point the bottle will start to blur itself and budge itself just out of reach of your hand).

Adam, sensible baby, tentatively took the plastic nipple in his mouth, sloshed it about a bit on his tongue, and discovered that plastic tastes much like Mitt Romney’s breath after one of his talks to his fund raisers – a stale mixture of commerce and chemicals rendering the whole inedible and unfit for buccal manipulation.

Watching him scrunch up his face and reject the pacifier, I was, a., proud of my boy for rejecting the entire Dow chemical fiasco that has acidified the ocean and is destroying the atmosphere, and b., disappointed that there was, after all, no pablum for the harried parent.

I imagine that I will apply the pacifier again. Infants and the children they grow into are eventually ground down by parental insistence when it comes to the artificial ingredients of life. Besides, too much rejecting of plastic by Adam will worry me – I have a fear of him growing into one of those seventeen year olds with the whispy goatee, the hemp clothes, and the bongo drum, such as roam around Austin in the summer and camp at Barton Springs. But … well, fuck me and my tastes. In any case, the pacifier was a bit of a lesson.