It was a Tuesday morning and, as we used to do every day, my mum, my brother Franci and I were having breakfast at the kitchen table. Franci was dipping his chocolate biscuits – and his fingers – in tea; I was eating my chocolate pastry and my mum was drinking her milk.We were talking about what to have for lunch after school when, all of a sudden, we heard some very loud steps coming from behind the corner. It was my sister, Robi, who, despite being only three, had the loudest footsteps I had ever heard. The sound of her dummy chain swinging from her little babygrow made us giggle, as we were all ready to see her pop out at any time.Mum got up and, as she turned the corner, there was Robi, ready to give her a big scare. Every morning, she would get out of her little bed in the bedroom that she, my brother and I shared and waggle all the way to the corner, where she would wait for my mum to find her.“Boo” – she screamed, while the dummy was still in her mouth.Robi had the bad habit to bring her dummy with her everywhere. She even had back-up ones that mum used to always carry in her bag, in case hers would get lost. Her passion for dummies was so strong that she would even chew two at the same time, leaving everyone to think that yes, dummies are probably bad for babies’ teeth, but isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your life? Everyone was trying to make her quit her habit; dummies are bad for you, everybody knows that.Mum tried everything, dipping them in bitter water, hiding them, scaring her off, but nothing seemed to work.Time went by and one day, when Robi was 5, mum walked her to the nursery and, after kissing her goodbye, Robi handed her the dummy and walked off to her friends, who were all already sitting in the classroom. Mum was shocked, as she had already lost all her hopes by then, thinking that Robi would grow to become “that old lady with a dummy”. But the reality was that it doesn’t matter how hard everyone tried to make Robi give it up, she was the only one who could do it, in her own time.


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