Ladies and Gentlemen, the schnulies have left the building!
After months of anticipation and false starts, it now appears certain that Adinah has taken her first decisive step towards self-sufficiency and adult sophistication. She gave up her pacifier this week.
Auf Deutsch, "pacifier" is schnuler, and Deanie actually had an army of them, stashed all over the house in much the same way that an old alcoholic distributes his bottles of Famous Grouse and Old Smuggler. She had two favorites, and she only plugged 'em in when she was ready for bed, or she had a meltdown, or she needed a timeout. Still, she's nearly four and three/eighths months old now, so I figured she was getting a little too old for such Maggie Simpson stuff.
I can feel my American parent readers gasping in horror. My sense is that most American kids have quit their schnulies, if not moved onto using a Blackberry, by the age of two. But Euro parents, at least those that we call friends and family, don't sweat it so much. And Anette in particular felt that, since Adinah may have been breastfed by her biological mom for a few weeks at the most before she was given up for adoption, it was okay for her to have a teeny weeny little oral fixation, even if it was made out of latex and sherbert orange plastic.
The truth is, even if we'd had Homeland Security on our side, we wouldn't have been able to pry those suckers out of her hands until Adinah was absolutely ready to give them up.
Last week, our friend Gabi pulled a fast one on her son Moritz. It was just a variation on the old Tooth Fairy con, but it worked. Here's how it goes: ya tell the little one that the Schnulie Fee (Pacifier Fairy) wants to drop by, pick up all of the kids schnulers, and then take them to some more deserving BABY somewhere. In return, the Schnulie Fee will leave the kid a present. The trick is to carefully identify whatever your little pride and joy is most into at the moment--be it chocolate or cough medicine--and offer that up as the present from the Schnulie Fee.
Despite all of our efforts to turn her on to butch feminist art and culture, Adinah has recently become obsessed with all things gurly, from Barbie Dolls to princesses, but she's especially taken with a cartoon character named Lilli Fee, or Pink Fairy. So it wasn't hard for Anette to decide what the Pacifier Fairy should offer in exchange for Adinah's schnulers. On Thursday night, Adinah and her mother made a nice card, then set it and the schnulers out on her window sill. In the morning, the Schnulie Fee had taken the schnulers, but left a nice new Lilli Fee magazine.
That was three days ago, and Adinah is still schnulie-free.
I'm just not sure how we're going to get rid of the fucking pink fairy.