Say This to The Next Person Who Questions Your Toddler's Pacifier

toddler pacifier
Emma Lou Harris Blog

If your baby is no long a baby but still uses a pacifier, you're probably familiar with the obnoxious breed of stranger who loves to comment with helpful "advice" to get your little one to give up his or her totally innocent habit. Sick of biting your tongue around these nosy know-it-alls? Emma Lou Harris has you covered.

The blogger and mom of two from Limerick, Ireland, was recently at the drugstore with her 3-year-old daughter Frankie. Like plenty of 3-year-olds out there, Frankie still loves her pacifier, which she calls her soother. We all know how pacifiers tend to disappear (I like to think they're having an epic party with the bobby pins somewhere), so Harris asked the pharmacist where she could find them in the store to buy some more. 
She wasn't asking for judgment on her parenting, but she got some anyway. In a post on Facebook, Harris writes, "The pharmacist asked me what age I was looking for and when I pointed to Frankie beside me, she took it upon herself to announce, very matter of fact, directly to the child 'Ohh, but you're far too big for a soother now, you're not a baby are you?'"
If you're taking off your earrings and getting ready to gear up on Harris's behalf right now, just wait -- it gets worse. The pharmacist then said, "You'll have [to] leave your doodies out for the fairies very soon, people will be laughing at you, isn't that right mammy?" And she winked at Harris, as if she was doing her a favor.
Harris points out that age is such an arbitrary measure to determine when a child is emotionally ready to give up a comfort object like a pacifier. "I don't know what it is about a child turning a certain age where it seems to be deemed 'socially unacceptable' for them to still relish in the few small comforts they've never been without," she writes. "Whether it be soothers or bottles or blankets or breastfeeding. Age appropriateness is not an open invitation for your opinion."
She drives home the point that it's up to parents, and parents alone, to decide what's right for our kids -- not strangers in the streets or stores who don't know anything about them. "It's OUR job, as the parents, to monitor when, where, why and what OUR children are reliant on," she says.

More from CafeMom: A Stranger Assumed This New Mom Was Still Pregnant & She Had the Perfect Response

Being a parent is emotional and physical work, all day, every day. We stress and worry and think about our kids constantly. Any strangers who thinks they can come in like white knights and "fix" what they see as a parenting problem need to step to the left, and quickly, because you're not helping, not even a little bit. Not your baby, not your business.

Or, as Harris says about the fact that her daughter still uses a pacifier: "To be quite frank, in this instance, I couldn't give less of a sh*t. So, unless you have an episiotomy to prove you're entitled to input, you shouldn't give a sh*t either."

Read More >