We've been trying to convince Sarah to give up the pacifier. She's on the fence about it, but has made some progress. We only let her have it during the sleeping hours, we make her give it up otherwise. She never has it at daycare or, indeed, anywhere she's not with her parents. We're know we're being played. The other night right before bed she'd been walking around with a pacifier in her mouth. She walked up to me, took it out and handed it to me and said "I'm a big girl. I don't need this" and then went to bed without it.
The moment caused me to reflect because we've been watching the first season of Mad Men. We're not quite through it yet, 3 or 4 more episodes to go, I think. We started it after entire series of The Wire. I loved The Wire, even though we sometimes had to watch a cartoon before bed after viewing an episode of it. You know a show is good when you're fooled into thinking you're actually reading a book. I loved those characters and when it ended I was sad; I miss them.
We took a short 30 Rock, season 2 break and began Mad Men. I'm enjoying it but I find it roundly more depressing than The Wire. The characters in The Wire caused you to feel righteously ambivalent because, which ever side they were on, they had a code. Sorry, a Code. And they lived by it. Omar Little, for example, robbed drugged dealers and killed will impunity. But he never killed a citizen and he never worked on Sunday. Also, he didn't cuss and as best I can remember, he didn't lie. In Mad Men, the characters seem to be lacking any sort of code. They all seem miserable, forced to live under the auspices of some fake code no one can really get behind. What's really so amazing to watch is how very different the mores were regarding relationships, child-rearing and health. Pregnant women smoking and drinking. Drunk driving as a normal daily routine. And of course the rampant sexism. The show begins in 1960 and it's pretty clear 1968 is eagerly gestating.
When Sarah handed me her pacifier and repeated the very words we'd been saying over and over to her I wondered if the scene would be something horrific 50 years from now. Some young mother might have watched it thinking "why on EARTH would they make that poor kid think she was being somehow bad by sucking on a pacifier at age 2?!?" What things seem so normal right now that will be completely nuts when I'm a grandmother? I think of all the people one or two generations ahead of us who just couldn't believe we weren't feeding Kate solid food by the time she was one month old...and for some reason, seeing Sarah hand over her security bobble made me feel potentially mistaken.