Nuggi Tree

So far we've come across two of these trees - one at the Zurich Zoo and one at the Wild Animal Park in Goldau:

From far away it just looks like a nice green tree, but as you get closer you can see there are things hanging from all of the branches:

Pacifiers! Clumps and clumps of binkis...or pacis...or nooks...or dummies...or as many Swiss call them, nuggis!

I thought at first that the employees had found the pacifiers lost or discarded throughout the park and strung them up on a tree as decorations or as a warning to babies, "Keep track of your nuggi or else!"

Nope, these trees are actually facilitating a right of passage. Apparently when a child decides they are too old or no longer have the need for their pacifier they bring it to a tree to be hung as an offering to the Nuggi Fairy. In some circles, the Nuggi Fairy brings the child a special toy, in others, not. Some Nuggi trees are in very public places, like the zoo or wild animal park, and some are on random trees in the forest.

I personally like the spirit of this ritual because it allows the child some control over when they are ready to give up their beloved nuggi rather than the parent hiding it, or worse, throwing it away.

Today's poem is all the big kid decision makers out there...
nuggis hang low
when kids are ready to
suck it up
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved


Liz Steinglass said...

That's pretty funny. I made poor Oliver throw his in the big garbage can outside.

Bridget Magee said...

I think different kids have different ways of dealing with milestones. Saying goodbye to a binky before throwing it in a big garbage can can be just as powerful as hanging it on a tree. Thanks for commenting, Liz! I appreciate it. =)

BellaKatie said...

Aubrielle gave her pacifiers to the “passy fairy”. She left them in a bowl by the front door and the passy fairy brought her candy and toys in exchange.

Bridget Magee said...

A bowl works just as well as a tree, Erin! I suppose you could use a Passi Cacti, too? Thanks for reading and commenting, Erin! =)

Anonymous said...

I put the pacifier in a bowl in a cupboard over the refrigerator, too high and too hard for a child to reach, but they knew it was there if ever REALLY REALLY needed, not gone forever. This may seem an odd comparison, but that was how my stepfather was able to give up smoking, another oral habit. He kept a cigarette in his breast pocket "just in case," so he did not panic or crave a cigarette quite so badly, knowing he had one if he REALLY REALLY needed it. I think that ability to opt back in if panic set it was helpful, providing some control.

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