A lot of moms and dads are on their baby’s schedule. This is how good parenting should be executed, however, we often see our new parent friends locking themselves up in their homes and never seeing sunlight because of an intensely over-scheduled calendar full of nap times, feeding sessions, whatever.
My wife and I take a more liberal approach: the baby is on our schedule. From the start, we’ve always set flexible windows for baby needs, but skew outside of the choreographed box most first-time parents put themselves in. Don’t get me wrong, this method often backfires on us, but it’s definitely made for some solid memories. One of which, I will explain in this story.
We love to travel and are often on the hunt for a good deal and a getaway. Because of this, our 2-year old has already been around the world. She’s a super chill baby and crushes long distance international flights. Here she is watching Elmo on an Airbus A380 in 2015:
Let me take a step back and tell you the truth. You see, this picture is a double edged sword. We actually had a little secret up our sleeves which got her to behave this way. We introduced a pacifier.
It wasn’t until we started traveling, when my daughter was ~9 months old, that she got her hands on this magic contraption. If she ever started getting impatient on flights, we’d hand it to her, and she’d instantly cool her jets and chill the F out. This product (aka the tantrum buster aka the sound soother aka the peacemaker) was such a hit, we started using it on longer car rides soon thereafter. Then, like a casual smoker, both we and the baby, got addicted. It was our clutch and we handed it to her whenever turbulence hit (both in the sky and at home).
After her first birthday, my wife and I held an executive team meeting, and acknowledged it was time to ditch the sucker. We hit up the best credible source — the internet, of course — but none of the tactics worked. Everything we tried failed like Wiley Coyote (or maybe we were just too weak?). Then, my wife’s friend shared a secret. It was exactly the kind of spark we needed to get the parental gears in motion.
We decided to staged a pacivention.
I quickly assembled the team who would help perform this mediation: me, my wife, my sister, and of course, Wrigley and Darwin.
Here was the plan: I take my daughter to my sisters place where Wrigley and Darwin were hanging out so all three can run in circles, scream, and bark at each (that’s what babies and puppies do when they see each other). Then, I casually bring the pacifier out. I try to hand it to the baby, when oops, I accidentally fumble. And guess whose sitting right next to me waiting for treats? Wrigley and Darwin.
I FaceTimed with Wrigley and Darwin beforehand, and they were gracious enough to agree to play the antagonists (they’ll do anything for food).
So on one lovely Sunday afternoon, my daughter watched the scene unfold. Holding back tears, she came to terms with what just happened: Wrigley and Darwin had eaten the paci.
Here is the video from February 2016:
If you need help with a pacivention, Wrigley and Darwin are available for hire.