The Real Meaning of Umba

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What is the Umba?

I think it was my first foray into parenthood that brought me to the reality that there are more important things than food to a baby. As a young parent I was under the impression that if you had a baby bottle and diapers, you were okay and safe from the ever present crying baby. It was my mother who taught me the meaning of keeping a baby happy when my wife was not there. I did my share of calling mom in panic mode and not knowing what to do because I couldn't get the baby to quit crying. She felt that the easiest way out of any given situation was "THE UMBA", the preferred word in our family for pacifier. Day to day activities is quite the chore with a child if you don't have all the necessary tools and accessories. Case in point is the Umba; The Umba in our house is what we call the pacifier or as my children at pacifier age would call their life line. For the past 12 years I have spent countless hours looking under furniture, in the backyard or even toy boxes for the ever elusive Umba. I can't count the number of times that I made emergency late night runs to the local grocery store or 24 hour pharmacy replacing the lost pacifier. I have received all kinds of questions and crazy looks when I have walked into the 24 hour pharmacy or grocery store at 3:00 AM and bought a package of pacifiers. The oddest question ever asked while on one of my late night runs, was, are you going to rave? I just had to laugh and leave in a hurry home to make a baby happy. Who really knows what mysteries that the Umba really holds. It appears to hold a special power to calm a baby when upset or hungry. I started thinking of all the times and situations where the Umba has been a lifesaver or just there to settle him down for the night. I can recall a time when the family decided to take a trip to Disney World while one of my boy's was only 11 months old. It felt like most of the preparations were centered on the Umba. No one wants to be around when a baby...
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