DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a relative who frowns upon family members who allow their babies to use pacifiers.
Beyond chastising the mothers about the matter throughout her visit, she goes further. When the parents aren't looking, she takes the pacifier or pacifiers when she leaves.
The parents are left to care for a crying baby. One baby cried much of the night because of the missing pacifier. The parents did their best, but it was a difficult night. Is it acceptable for one to take a personal preference so far?
GENTLE READER: This goes beyond mere personal preference. This is a misdemeanor. Miss Manners is amazed that the baby didn't press charges.
Unless there is true harm being done to the baby -- and please don't come to Miss Manners with studies about the damage done by pacifiers -- parenting is best left to the parents. And stealing is best left to thieves.