Today I heard a doctor on a widely watched Canadian TV show use one of the many asinine statements that I hear spewed at parents all the time. Why is it that as soon as someone has a baby, we think we can tell them the most completely absurd things and they’ll buy it? But more importantly, why do they so often buy it??
It infuriates me to no end when I hear the following things and I really, really wish they’d drop completely from our language.
“Human pacifier” This statement is the definition of moronic. The pacifier exists to be a plastic human, not the other way around. Anyone using this term is either a complete idiot or a complete a**hole. (This is top of the list because it sparked the list.)
“Self-soothe” What a load of bull. Most adults I know can’t “self soothe”. They can cope, because they are physically and mentally able to use a number of coping methods. They exercise, eat, drink, take drugs, have sex, yell… I’ve never seen an adult who is overwhelmed, terrified, furious, starving, or exhausted simply buck up and “self soothe”. They certainly couldn’t do it while locked inside the very thing that is making them so upset. Yet, we expect a baby who can’t even roll over, let alone run, shag or fix themselves a martini to do it.
“They’ll NEVER learn to sleep by themselves” Why is this skill considered to be so different than others? People don’t walk around moaning that a 12 month old who doesn’t walk yet surely NEVER will just because another baby had already mastered it. That would be ridiculous. We know it takes time to learn to walk alone, and that every baby takes a different amount of time. And why do we put so much emphasis on teaching the skill of independent sleep that we’re willing to do it so harshly? I’ve never seen anyone put a preschooler on a 10-speed road bike without training wheels because otherwise they’ll NEVER learn to ride a bike without “props”. Yet I hear parents talk proudly about how they lock their kids in solitary confinement in a bare crib upwards of 15 hours per day (62% of baby’s life!) for that very reason. Ludicrous.
“Tit” Let’s get this one straight once and for all, people. This word is VULGAR slang for a breast and it has a SEXUAL connotation. If you use this word in connection to breastfeeding, you’re implying that the breastfeeder is engaging sexually with the nursling. I do not “whip my tit out” to feed my baby, my baby does not “suck on my tit”. We (breastfeeders) are not pedophiles, we’re just mammals. If you don’t like it, feel free to join another taxonomic group.
How about you, what are the drive-you-crazy words/tips/terms you hear about parenting?