Once upon a time (circa five months ago), two sleep deprived-yet-still-unrealistically-idealistic parents said: "I don't believe in dummies and my baby is never going to have one."
Oh, how the mighty fall (see picture at right).
It's not that we had particularly strong feelings about why we didn't like the idea of dummies, we just naively thought we were well-equipped enough as parents not to need a nub of plastic to help us do the job.
As with pretty much everything when it comes to dealing with a newborn, we were wrong.
At that point, I was still in that stage of delusional thinking that the euphoria of having a newborn produces. I had fantasies of being some Earth Mother type hand-knitting all of baby D's clothes and hand-pureeing organic beets for her while she was happily strapped to my side in an organic cotton sling.
(The reality? I can't knit anything, Diana has rejected all baby food I've attempted to make for her, vastly preferring Ella's Kitchen - how does she already know I'm a bad cook!? - and I'm suffering from recurring back spasms and am more likely to put Diana down than lift her up).
But baby D is OK with this for now, because Diana, as you can see, has a new best friend (No, Bolshy the bulldog isn't jealous... yet).
I thought the dummy would be my in-case-of-emergency plan. Like if we were out and all of our standard-issue calming techniques (well, milk and food is all we really have to offer) failed, then this miracle piece of plastic would solve all our problems.
Except instead, while cooking dinner last week (Diana was slightly grumpy post-meal in her high chair), I just thought: What's wrong with trying to make my life easier?
So in this hideous bit of plastic went and seconds later, Diana was blissfully suckling away. Just like that.
Happy baby, happy mommy.
Until I'm forced to deal with the impending disaster that the dummy will inevitably bring now that we've added it to the list of bad habits we've created.
Like the fact that baby D is nearly six-months-old and is feeling more comfortable than ever in her parents' bed.
Or the fact that she still needs to suckle to fall asleep (at least now I don't need to be attached to her mouth for this to happen and the dummy can do the trick).
We tried to lay down some ground rules - dummy is only allowed at dinner, for example (if my child is still going to be in bed with me in five years, I'd rather she not be addicted to a bit of plastic as well) - but that didn't last long.
Dummy is at the dinner table, on her play mat, in bed. Dummy gets spat out into the street now (we had our first casualty this weekend). Dummy is everywhere.
And part of me hates myself for creating another mini-monster. But mostly I'm thrilled that relief can be purchased for under £4.