We resisted Finn's dummy desires for ages, keeping up a constant vigilance against him stealing them from Joey, his friends or just strangers in the street. But after a year without them they slowly crept back into everyday use. We began to rely on them to get him back to sleep when he woke at an ungodly hour, to keep him quiet if we had to wait in a queue for something and eventually just for five minutes peace from the relentless onslaught of looking after a toddler.
However, after a while he got so used to the dummy that it ended up doing more harm than good. When he started waking up in the middle of the night demanding it, we knew it had to go.
Now my will power is weak (you may have gathered this from my inability to stick to any diet or exercise regime I have mentioned in this blog) so I knew the only route to success was to destroy the dummies. Otherwise I'd probably find myself on my hands and knees rummaging in the rubbish after a few hours. So I got the scissors out and cut them all into teeny tiny pieces and waited for Armageddon.
It didn't take long. After about five minutes Finn started asking, and then begging, and then screaming. I knew there was no point in trying to reason with him by telling him
we were giving the dummies to Santa or posting them to little babies who
needed them, because frankly, he's not that gullible. Or generous.
At nap time, Joey added his shouts to the cacophony and I spent hours rocking them both to sleep. They went to sleep crying, and they woke up crying, they cried when we went to play group and they cried when we came back home. Basically, they cried. A lot.
By the time James got home from work (early because I'd sent him a video of the children screaming and demanded his return) I couldn't take any more. I had to lie down in a darkened room until they finally cried themselves out and went to sleep in Daddy's arms.
The next day I prepared myself for more of the same. I steeled myself against another day of misery, but it never came. Finn woke up and asked for his dummy, I told him again it was gone and he just shrugged and got on with things. Joey griped a bit at nap time but was generally in good spirits and they went down to bed that night without a peep.
I'm not saying that we didn't have any other tantrums or problems. About a week after D-Day I lost sight of Finn in a cafe and when I found him, he was crouched behind a parked buggy sucking on another child's dummy that was tethered to the pram with one of those stretchy cords. But all in all it wasn't as bad as I'd feared and now, we're all sleeping through the night again - kind of, well some nights anyway.