Hello, friends! I am kind of disappointed to say that I have been unable to download all of our photos from Cabo tonight. I was really hoping to have a cutesie little post with a showcase of my fave photos, but my battery is dead. No battery = no downloading. Bummer. Instead, I will be discussing the paci–also known as a pacifier, binky, ni-nite, baba, etc. Whatever one calls it, it’s still a hunk of plastic with another softer plastic plug attached to it that some manufacturer somewhere thinks looks like a nipple. Not sure whose nipple looks like that, but OK. In our house it’s a paci, and it’s time for said paci to go bye-bye. Like today.
I know that lots of parents have lots of opinions about whether or not to use them, when to wean off of them, time limits, and so on. The “experts” say that by 24 months of age, your child should be off of them. I tend to agree, however, do not really judge too harshly if an older child still uses one to sleep. Sleep, mind you. Not carry to pre-school and suck on when the goings get tough. Ella uses hers at nap time and bed time…except on vacation. She held on to hers on both travel days of early rising, skipped nap times, shuttle bus, taxi, airplane rides, more shuttle bus. You get my drift. Stressful days made for a stressed baby and Ella’s parents were weak. Out came Paci to save the day.
In the beginning, we gave Ella the pacifier to calm her down. I had major issues breast feeding her and the paci seemed to calm things down until I could figure something out. Additionally, all of the research suggests that babies who suck on them until 12 months of age have a lower likelihood of dying from SIDS. I was so very paranoid and terrified of SIDS that I did everything the books told me to in an attempt to save Ella from it.
So, now here we are at 21 months and the girl has a serious addiction to that piece of crack plastic. She asks for the damn thing by name. When I refuse her whatever indulgence she wants at the given moment, she cries and says that she wants her paci. Yeah, I refuse it, but it just sucks. It sucks that she wants to, well, suck! In her delirium today after the flight from Mexico, she was singing to it in the car. Derek looked at me and said, “Houston, we have a problem.” I laughed and said, “Clearly. The addiction is ending. Tomorrow.”
I have a week and a half before I go back to work. I am on Mission: Bye-bye Paci and I ain’t giving up until I have achieved the mission. The kid will sleep through the night without the freakin thing. She does it at nap time at daycare, so she can do it at home. And it’s not Ella’s fault; it’s ours. We’re the ones that are weak. We’re the ones that are selfish and thinks that she sleeps longer with a paci in her mouth. We’re the ones that cave when the crying starts. We can do this. I gave birth for God’s sakes. That was tough work. I can certainly wean my kid off her crack.
After a cocktail, I came up with a plan. Tonight, as she was peacefully lying in her crib, I crept in and collected all of her pacifiers (minus the one in her mouth). I piled them next to her Pooh.
She’s got quite the stash. Derek and I toyed with the idea of having a little going away party for the paci’s, but Ella is just too young to understand. It would probably scar the kid for life. So I took them and I am going to destroy them. I’m not sure how, but they will never be found again–by any of us. Then when she wakes in the morning and methodically puts her paci away, that one will be snuffed out too. If they’re gone, Ella’s parents can’t give in to the temptation. And besides, in the words of our daycare provider, “She’s ready. Just do it. Cold turkey.”
As much as it hurts to admit it, our baby is swiftly becoming a big girl. It’s time to let this stuff go. I know that there are parents out there that don’t think it’s a big deal and think that she’ll wean herself off when she’s ready. That isn’t the way we are choosing to tackle this “issue.” This is what feels right for us. What feels right is a clandestine raid on our kid’s paci drawer in the middle of the night, followed by a sacrificial bonfire where we praise our paci gods. Thank you. You have all served your time well.