So I stopped and started chatting with the vendor. She asked how sleep was going. I told her that Bean didn't like to nap and that he slept alright at night as long as he was attached to me (we co-sleep and he likes to nurse). I told her that if I wanted him to sleep during the day I either had to lay down with him or put him in a carrier. She looked at me and said "Oh, so you're just a human pacifier for him".
What I wanted to say and what I did say at that moment were two very different things. What I did say wasn't much. I nodded my head, took her card, jiggled Bean in his carrier as if he was fussing (which he was a little) and told her that I needed to keep moving.
What I wanted to say was far less polite and would have taken more guts and quick thinking that I possessed at the time. Here is my answer to her and anyone else who wants to call me a human pacifier:
"I am NOT a human pacifier. A pacifier is a plastic, rubber, or silicone piece of equipment that is used to placate a baby in place of meeting the actual need of the baby. I do not hate pacifiers and have even used them on occasion with Bean, but I am not a pacifier.
I am a mother. When Bean cries and wants to snuggle in with me at night, he's not using me as a pacifier, he's showing me how smart he is. He knows that being close to mom is a safe place to be and that I will keep him safe. When he wants to take a nap in a carrier on my back (or front) he's telling me the same thing. He's saying loud and clear "I love you Mom and I know you'll keep me safe and I can sleep peacefully when you are here."
When he wants to nurse all.day.long. he's not using me as a pacifier, he's telling me that he's growing and needs to eat more. When he wants to be close to me he's telling me that he's scared or confused or lonely or that this big world is simply overwhelming him.
No, I am not a human pacifier. I am a Mom. I listen to my baby and do my best to give him what he needs. And sometimes, what he needs is my breast. Other times he just needs to be held close to me and know that I am there for him.
There are other times when he wants nothing to do with me. When his Uncle Ben walks in the door I am quickly forgotten. When he wants to rough house with Daddy or Uncle Isaac or Uncle Reuben he will push me away so that they will take him and play with him. When he wants to climb or get into the dog's water or play with the fire place tools, he will look at me with his impish grin and get into whatever trouble he wants to get into.
But when he needs me, when he wants me, I will be there for him, whether it's for a snuggle against my chest or a snack from my breast, I will be there for him - I am his mother, not a human pacifier."
That's what I wanted to say.
That thing in his mouth? That's a pacifier. That's not me. I'm not green. Nor am I that small. Nor is he allowed to chew on me like that!