Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘soother


If you had a close-up of Niko’s finger you may wonder why it has become somewhat raw and calloused. Put that way it sounds soft of painful, but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the callous that has formed covering pretty much the whole length of his pointer finger. I try to keep it moisturized, which helps a little, but mostly he just sucks it right off.

Take a look at the picture below and multiply that snapshot many times over in one day and it results in one well worn little finger. Most babies suck a soother or maybe their thumb, but not our little guy. He’s developed quite an affinity for his index. Actually at times he gets it in there so far that he actually gags himself. It’s rare, but I’ve seen it happen a few times. Post gag reflex, he’s in the need for some self-soothing. And what’s his method of choice? Index finger, take your position please.


The other day Heather came over and we brought our kiddies, plus Frasier for a walk out back. We had our little ones secured on our chests in the trusty Baby Bjorns and as we were getting ready to leave, Heather asked if Lena could borrow a soother clip (you know, one of those things that attaches to the soother and then clips onto the baby’s outfit). Anyway, of course she could borrow one, Niko has two and he wasn’t using either of them. Now, at the time the only place I could think where there was one, was in Niko’s room: the one that had fallen behind his dresser the week before and the one I had not yet gotten around to finding. So, with my winter coat on, and Niko secured in the Bjorn I headed upstairs to get the soother clip.

Yes, I could have unstrapped baby N (this definitely would have made the task easier), but that would have taken time and we were ready to go. So instead I pulled a limbo move of sorts: I got myself crouched down on the ground as low as I could, and reached under the dresser. But it was to no avail; I couldn’t quite reach it. So I crouched a little lower, until I ended up flat on my back, still wearing my winter coat, Niko completely bundled for winter and still strapped onto my chest, one of my arms secured around him, while the other reached and searched blindly under the dresser. It would have been quite the site had anyone other than Niko witnessed it, but it was in this position that I had success and was finally able to reach far enough under the dresser to get the clip. So, with clip in hand I shimmied my way back to an upright position (go quadriceps!), went back downstairs and we all continued on our merry way.

This little episode got me thinking. It’s amazing how being a stay at home parent sort of forces you to hone a whole new single-handed set of skills. Things that in the past had always required two hands (cooking, laundry, everything…), can now, for the most part, be completed quite adeptly single-handed. So kudos to all those parents who have become skilled one-handers!

Beyond reaching for the soother clip, a few other tasks which previously would have been two-hand chores, but can now be completed while little N is secured in one of my arms, are as follows:

1) Showering after swimming lessons. Washing slippery little N’s hair and rinsing him off.

2) Swiffering the floors. (See pic.)

3) Transferring cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer. (Well if Niko makes the mess, he might as well see how to clean it up, right?)


You may be wondering: What the heck’s a gully blanket?, just as I was when I first heard the term. Upon having a child I have learned that there are many terms and phrases used for common baby items. For example, a soother may become a soo-soo, or a sooky, or a sucky, or a million other creative things that just seem to stick with certain families. Another baby item that has many different names is the infamous security blanket, you know the one that you see Linus from the Charlie Brown comics carrying around all the time? Different names I have heard for the security blanket are: blankie, bunkie, little special blanket (as Uncle Greg used to affectionately call his 🙂 ) and now gully blanket! Yes, gully blanket!

I discovered this term on one of my trips to Grandmother and Grandad’s house this week.  As I passed Niko into the somewhat resistant, but then appreciative arms of his Great Grandad he sort of started to cry – Niko, not my grandad. Upon hearing the fuss Great Grandad said: “Well, he probably wants his gully blanket”. “Gully blanket? What’s that?”, I wondered out loud. Great Grandad then said, “That blanket, the one that’s sitting over there on the couch where Niko used to be sitting”. And Grandmother chimed in, in agreeance, “Yes he might want his gully blanket”. My grandad then went on to explain that a gully blanket was so called because the child gets so attached to this blanket and then at times will suck on it and make a gully sound like this: “gully, gully, gully, gully, gully” and so on.  And when my usually quite composed grandfather was explaining this, he did so by mimicking a baby sucking his thumb and proceeded to make this funny gully sound over and over again, with a little smirk on his face! It was both cute and surprising to see my grandad acting out this scenario! And who knows, maybe one day Niko will also have a designated gully blanket of his own! But like my grandfather said, “Once he’s got one, you don’t want to lose it because it really can’t be replaced and the ensuing cries will prove it”!


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