What Terry Bradshaw Taught Me About Parenting

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I’ve been a parent now for over eight years. I’m starting to catch on to how things work. My husband and I aren’t experts, by any stretch of the imagination, but we’ve done some things right. We’ve also made some mistakes and hopefully have learned from them as we’ve grown and tweaked our parenting style.  I’m feeling pretty comfortable and confident as a parent to my own three children.

But wouldn’t you know, this week I was thrown a curveball.

Or maybe I should say a perfect spiral.

All three of our children have loved pacifiers. Pacifiers are a staple in our home during the baby and toddler phases as much as diapers, Lysol, and onesies. The way things went down with the older two kids was like this. They could have the pacifier anytime of the day or night until they were two-years-old, at which point they could only have the pacifier in bed. When they turned three, bye-bye paci! It really worked quite nicely with the older two kiddos.

And then there’s the third one.

Our youngest is approaching her third birthday this Spring and so her pacifier days are coming to a close. I honestly haven’t even given it much thought. I’ve been so laid back with our littlest daughter that I haven’t pushed much of any kind of intentional training. I should probably get on that. But anyway, she has been sleeping with her pacifier every night in squeaky, soothed bliss. Until Thursday.

Thursday night she decides that she wants to trade her pacifier in for a toy instead. Oh really?! This is nice. She’s training herself and is even ahead of schedule. The toy of choice? A small plastic figurine of Terry Bradshaw.

Excuse me… WHAT?!

First of all, you may ask why we even have a small plastic figurine of Terry Bradshaw in our house. I ask this same question and vaguely recall buying him at a garage sale years ago with intentions of giving him to my little nephew who is a big Steelers fan. But, my husband said that was a stupid waste of a quarter because what kid, Steeler fan or not, would want a figurine of a quarterback who played in the 1970’s?

I mean, really… what kid would want this little plastic man. I get it. What was I thinking? What a waste of money.

Yet, Terry remains in our home. He’s frozen here in a stance, ready to throw his little plastic football because I’ve never thrown him away or traded him to another team. I haven’t even given him a second thought. We’re not even Steeler fans.

But our two-year-old daughter wants to trade in her beloved pacifier in order to have Terry Bradshaw in her chubby little fist soothing her to sleep as he looks down field for an open receiver.

I’ve been blitzed. I’m still scratching my head trying to shake off the sack.

I didn’t see that one coming.

Two more nights have now passed and both nights she’s once again chosen Mr. Bradshaw. The toy I would have possibly voted as least likely to be of interest to my girlie, pigtailed daughter.

I don’t know if this relationship between girl and plastic quarterback is going to last, but I’m not even going to try to figure it out anymore.

If Terry Bradshaw has taught me anything, it’s this.

Sometimes in parenting you’ve just got to call an audible.

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