It all happened so smoothly and quietly. One minute we were settling down at the table. The next minute I watched, incredulously, as the little lump sat immobile, sucking away at another lump.. A LUMP OF SUGAR.. which her darling mama held up to her toothless mouth. A 13 month old developing a sweet tooth, with hardly a tooth in sight!
This was a sight I had never expected to see, but then again A. has thrown me for a loop on other food occasions. She, as many of us, has her own unique brand of crunchy/meets junk food eating behaviours. I learned this on a supermarket excursion when her eldest was pleading for some candy that she had apparently sampled before. I wouldn't have pegged A. to be the candy-eating/feeding sort, especially since she is always attempting to substitute a bit too much whole-wheat flour to certain baked goods, in hopes of creating a healthier dessert.
But I digress. Back to the scene of the crime..There I sat, stunned at the sight and when I expressed my disbelief I was silenced with the standard line from parents with two, which is something to the effect of, "You wouldn't understand..."
Perhaps there is something to that. I do have vague memories of being overly critical of certain parenting techniques before having had a child and being told I didn't understand. I was certainly forced to eat a few of my words (not all, mind you, just a few) on that count. So why not in this case too.
The mania of having two children could very well force a mama to resort to drastic measures. Though I must say the idea of main-lining sugar would not have occurred to me as being one of them.
Did A. learn about this old-fashioned pacifying method from her grandma? I mentioned it to my grandfather (98) and he knew exactly what I was talking about. He laughed and said, "The mothers would wrap the sugar in cheesecloth and let the child hold it to their lips. Sometimes they would even soak it in bourbon!!!" I suggested that this might not be so healthy for the child. In response he said, (which I'm sure A. would much appreciate? "It may not be healthy for the child but it is healthy for the mother. She can get a break from the child's nagging."
Well what do you know? My grandfather and A. share similar child-rearing techniques and meanwhile I am left wondering...
1. Is A. going to be a repeat offender?
2. What else can be used to replace sugar lumps? Are they preferable to rubber nipples?
Might I suggest..a hard, salty pretzel. They used to keep Izzy busy for hours, and of course boobie always came in handy in restaurants. Any other suggestions might be appreciated.