Friday, December 7, 2012

The Finger Pacifier


On my way to meet my wife at a doctor’s appointment four our seven-month old I foolishly volunteered to pick her up.

The perfect time to misplace a pacifier. 

Mrs. Blackwell is a big proponent of Madison’s public transportation but, I figured coming to get her after I grabbed our son from day care would be quicker and easier for everybody. Naturally, I figured wrong.

Unbeknownst to either of us, there was a big basketball game happening just a couple of blocks from Mrs. Blackwell’s office that would make a 20-minute trip a 50-minute ordeal. 

So I went to day care to pick up junior. He is almost always in a great mood when he gets picked up. Tuesday was no different. While sitting in an excer-saucer, he put his arms out to greet me. It was a warm, glowing moment, the kind that nearly melt you.

Fast forward ten minutes, we’re in bumber-to-bumper traffic and he is crying, screaming and pretty much ready to revolt.

A baby crying in a car in the middle of a traffic jam is every bit as bad as it sounds. The wailing bounces off the interior of the car, reverberating through your ears. I reached helplessly  for a pacifier but, from the driver’s seat I wasn’t able to locate one.
Not pictured: his buzzsaw, pain-inflicitng fangs.

So, in my desparation, I reached as far back as I could and placed my finger in his mouth as a substitute.

It worked and the crying was reduced to dull whimpers and eventually silence. But, now a new problem presented itself in the form of my son’s emerging teeth.

As he chewed my finger for the next 15 minutes, I thought frequently about the pain. Babies have strong jaws you know. But then I thought about the screaming and adjusted my seat so he’d have the perfect angle to continue to reach my finger. 

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