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Dispatches From Binkyland

I generally pride myself on my transitional sentences. My sixth-grade English teacher complimented me on them two decades ago, when I wrote a research paper on the history of Valentine’s Day, and I, always responsive to positive reinforcement, have worked hard to maintain the integrity of my transitions ever since.


But I am temporarily giving up. There will be no transitions in this post. Transitions require a higher level of thinking, a level of thinking that is just simply not possible given that I got about 15 nonconsecutive minutes of sleep last night. I have one full week of maternity leave left, and I am terrified of what will happen when I am required to perform tasks more mentally rigorous than fast-forwarding through the commercials on my DVR, making peanut butter sandwiches for Ruby and inserting the baby’s binky into her squalling mouth approximately 12 million times a day.


So. Binkies. Ruby would not take one. No matter what I did or how many different brands I tried, she would have none of it. She would take a bottle and she would nurse for hours if I let her–literally hours–but put a pacifier in her mouth, and she would spit it out and give you a look of ultimate betrayal. Georgia, though–that girl loves her binky.


And she is already deeply brand loyal: She will only take the blue-green Soothies that they put in all the bassinets at the hospital. We only had one until the night that she spit it out as we were carrying her, tightly swaddled, from room to room in hopes of consoling her. It bounced on the ground and disappeared. I held her and bounced her and shooshed her as she screamed so hard she vibrated while my husband crawled around on his hands and knees moving furniture in search of the binky.


After that night (we found it under the bassinet, and we may not have even washed it off before sticking it back in her mouth), we bought eight more Soothies, and now they litter my house and my car. There’s one in the diaper bag and one on the porch and one in the swing and one somewhere in the bedclothes. I am constantly sitting on them or stepping on them. After I carried Georgia in a front carrier at the grocery store, I found a binky in my bra.


So. Grocery stores. Today at the grocery, the cashier asked me how old my baby was. When I said 2 months, she wrinkled up her face and said, “She looks sick.” I didn’t know what to say. At first I thought maybe I’d somehow misheard, but no, it was pretty clear. Then I became briefly and irrationally worried that perhaps the cashier saw something in my bright-eyed, pink-cheeked, alert, smiley baby that my pediatrician and I had somehow failed to notice. I finally just chalked it up to general weirdness and moved on, filing it away with my absolute favorite grocery store cashier story, which I may have already shared here, but I will share again because, as I might have mentioned, I have slept very, very little in the past few days and I am way too tired to search the archives.


It was January 2008 and I had just moved back to New Orleans and was going to have dinner at my godmother’s house. I stopped on the way to pick up a bottle of wine, and it started pouring down rain as I was walking into the store. As I was checking out, the heavily pregnant cashier turned to the girl next to her and said, “I’m closing down my line now and going to take my smoke break.” And the other girl looked shocked and said: “Oh, no! I can’t let you do that! You’re pregnant! You can’t go out in the rain!” And I thought, “God, it’s good to be home.”


So. Pregnant women. I am really glad to not be pregnant anymore. But at least then I could sort of sleep.


So. Sleep. I think I’m going to try to get some.


I will be back to regular weekly blogging starting on Friday, Aug. 10. Until then, wish me sweet dreams and smooth transitions.


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