Search and rescue
The hunt for the purple pacifier may not have the global ramifications of a Tom Clancy novel like the Hunt for Red October, but it does pit man against a fiendishly clever baby. The baby in this case is my 11-month-old daughter named Madeleine.
Over the months, Maddie and I have endured a wild series of sock and pacifier search and rescue efforts. We have climbed hills, missed trains and braved the elements to bring the missing items home alive. I’m proud to say that we still boast a perfect record on a dozen or so of our recovery missions. But binkie-busting is a hard life and not for the faint of heart.
Sometimes items come back dirty and I mean really dirty. Reckless drivers have been known to drive right over stranded socks without a care in the world. Our mantra in baby country is, “No passy left behind!” One of the ways to ensure this never happens is to conduct multiple spot checks. That way if a passy goes missing, you have a much smaller grid to search.
So this afternoon when I saw Maddie had lost her pacifier, it was GO TIME! I realized the error of my ways in an instant. It had been far too long since a pacifier spot check.
Step one is always the same – SEARCH THE BABY! I checked her sides, behind and all her hiding spaces and came up empty. This was the real deal! I scanned the horizon in back of me, but the sidewalk was clear. Not a good sign, but we’ve been through worse.
We zigged and zagged, traversing the same path we had taken on the way out and NADA. Our record was in peril. One block, then two and still nothing. I could feel the sweat gathering on my brow as this mission was going south in a hurry. I stopped and looked at Maddie for some signs of encouragement and stopped dead in my tracks!!!
The little devil was smiling at me from behind the missing purple pacifier! So many emotions rushed to the forefront. Our record was still untarnished, but what trickery did Maddie employ to hide the binkie from her dad? We will never know where the little girl hid the passy – maybe we were never meant to know. But it’s always nice to be outwitted by a baby who has yet to celebrate her first birthday.