wings and things

Spitting the dummy 1

on November 7, 2012

From the day he was born until the age of four years, Ming absolutely adored his dummy. He eventually called it his ‘tuntun’ (because Anthony remembered calling his own dummy a ‘tuntun’!) and it was pinned to Ming’s shirt 24/7.

By the time he was two years old we were up to tuntun number 11. Transitions from old, flat, chewed up, disgusting tuntuns to new, fresh, bulbous tuntuns were always difficult though and Ming would shriek, “I want my oooooooold tuntun!” But eventually he would bite and chew and suck the new dummy until it flattened into the shape he liked.

My mother thoroughly disapproved of the dummy, and by the time he was nearly four, Ming knew that when Grandma visited, she would say, “Oh take that horrible thing out of your mouth; you’re a big boy now!” So he became very surreptitious. He would suck the dummy madly until he heard her voice at the door, then he’d quickly unpin it and give it to me, so that she wouldn’t see it. “Quick, Mummy, hide the tuntun from Gwamma or she’ll gwowl,” he’d whisper, panic-stricken.

Sometimes I would put it in my pocket but if my mother stayed for longer than a couple of hours, Ming would soon become transfixed by the shape of his tuntun through my jeans pocket and stare at it longingly. Or he would brush past me and pat it, as if to say, “Soon, tuntun, soon.”

So I started putting it under his pillow so he could go and have a secret suck when he wanted to. It was hilarious – he was like a wardrobe drinker! He’d be in the middle of playing snakes and ladders with my mother and he’d suddenly dash away, up the hallway into his room, saying, “Juss a minit, Gwamma,” over his shoulder, then dash back, eyes slightly glazed, but resume the game with new energy. His secret was safe with me, and my mother never had a clue (until I told her later and she and I would crack up laughing!)

As soon as my mother went home, Ming would rush to his pillow, retrieve the tuntun and pin it back onto himself, then put it in his mouth and suck with great gusto, an ecstatic, dreamy expression almost immediately flooding his face.

I hadn’t thought to confront my mother about the fact that her disapproval of the dummy was affecting her relationship with Ming until one day, after she left, Ming climbed onto my lap, tuntun reattached and said, “I doan like Gwamma vewy much sometimes, Mummy.”

“She just thinks you’re too big for your tuntun, because you’re nearly four now,” I said, giving him a hug.

“Does you and Andony hate my tuntun too?” he said, a worried look on his face.

“Of course not!” I said, reassuringly.

“Thank Gawwwd!” he exclaimed, putting the tuntun into his mouth and looking up at me, his big blue eyes soft with contentment. And relief!

Ming nervous someone will see his ‘tuntun’!

My beautiful mother and Mingy (see the tuntun?)

18 responses to “Spitting the dummy 1

  1. victoriaaphotography says:

    Another priceless story of Ming’s childhood.
    You know, you could write a book about Ming’s life – ever thought a book of ‘Ming’ mini-stories might enchant the broader community?

  2. Why did Ming call his Dad by his name?

  3. Guess that’s one early addiction! No doubt the story about him finally kicking the habit will be as hilarious 😀

  4. bulldogsturf says:

    What gorgeous photos… Julie… absolutely gorgeous…

  5. viveka says:

    Your mum and you are very likeness – it’s like looking at the same woman. Beautiful both of you.
    That little Ming has some blue eyes …. are they still that intense blue ??? I know that babies eye are a lot bluer as toddlers. Great and heartwarming post, Julie.

  6. meg lane says:

    I knew I could be a Monster Mother but now, to read that I’m also a Ghastly Grandma! I hoped I improved with age! M.Lane.

  7. hi Julie, that brought back memories. My own 2 sons had dummies until the age of 3 when the dummy mysteriously went to Fairy Land. they were wared in advance and seemed to take it quite well. DS2 would have 3 in his mouth at one time and he was cracking at spitting them out one at a time and could project them aout 10 feet. he made a game of it and always had someone retrieve them for him.

  8. dcwisdom says:

    I think it’s great that meg lane didn’t take offense to that story. My mom would have bowed up like a cobra ready to strike. haha The things we remember…

  9. Oh, my… This is something that neither one of my kids used–I was the “dummy,” as I nursed both. SIgh. Much harder to break THAT habit…

  10. Judith Post says:

    My daughter loved her pacifier until the doctor AND the dentist said it had to go. Robyn had a fit, so I just cut a tiny tip of it off every day until there was barely enough for her to clamp onto, and she got disgusted and threw it away. But she loved that thing.

  11. I was only talking to my mum about dummies on Tuesday my daughter is trying to get my granddaughter Sydney to give up the dummy but I can’t see what all the fuss is about she will give it up when she is ready, remember Sydney is only 2 and she only has it when she is going to sleep or when she is upset. My second daughter has a dummy till she started school but only at night from the age of 3………….

  12. Fergiemoto says:

    Another cute story about Ming!

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