Okay … this week: LETTING GO OF THE PACIFIER!
YEP, it was that time! Losing the pacifier time! And OMG I was sooooo dreading it! I had heard many, many horror stories. Like crooked teeth if kept too long … many struggles and failed attempts … and the scariest of all to me … children NEVER sleeping again!
I was terrified. Those of you who know me, KNOW I LOVE MY SLEEP!!! IF SLEEPING WAS A CATEGORY IN THE OLYMPICS, I COULD WIN US A GOLD MEDAL EVERY TIME! I am serious about my sleep.
Anyhoo, our little Luna Marie, was just past 2. The age that the doctor said we could lose the pacifier if we wanted. I had gotten it to where Luna Marie only used it at night.
I learned early on that I HATED that sleepy walk down the hall because she had misplaced the one she had in her mouth, so my little girl had three in her crib at all times!!! One for the left hand, one for the right hand and one for the mouth! That way she had enough to find one in a sleepy haze, which she did quite well (she was like a little mole — eyes closed, roaming her hands back and forth til she hit one), but not so many that she would be playing with them. This worked brilliantly…
So now I was going to remove the one thing that for years had helped her relax, calm down and feel at one with the world. I felt horrible. I felt nervous! I had heard many “paci removal stories” and weighed all the advice and approaches.
Luna Marie was at the age where sharing … well, it was not her favorite thing to do. The whole “we have to give your pacis to little new babies who need them” was not gonna work. Sharing shmaring — she could care less.
And the “paci fairy” didn’t seem like the way to go to me. I knew Luna Marie would be crying for me to call her back and tell her we made a mistake the first day! And how was I going to resist that??? Did I lose her number? Did she move? What would be my excuse?! Too many details, too complicated!
I needed something permanent to make sure neither she nor I folded, but something that wasn’t too hardcore that would make me feel like the worst mother in the whole world.
And then ding! I remembered a story I heard about burying the pacifiers and having them turn into lollipops! So of course I stole it. That would be my master plan!!!
For like two weeks, I reminded Luna Marie that since she was a big girl and not a baby she would have to say “bye bye” to the pacis soon. When I told her she seemed fine with it … I think she just was so excited I was calling her a big girl. Which, I don’t know why, but she wants to be a big girl SO BADLY! (Crazy part, when we are older we always want to be younger! There is something wrong about that, but that is another blog!)
The night before BYE BYE PACIFIER Day comes … I tell her that we are down to five pacifiers. So what we are going to do in the morning is PLANT THEM in the ground. For every paci she plants, IF she sleeps the whole night, A LOLLIPOP would grow!! She was SO happy at this concept! Seriously not a moment of dread or fear … nada!
Morning comes. I had preselected two pots and got all her little gardening tools ready and said, “COME ON! LET’S PLANT SOME PACIFIERS!” I paused for like a millisecond before grabbing the last five and thought, “Wait, maybe I should leave one out, just in case she can’t do it?!” But I thought, “I know if I leave one … I will buckle.”
So I grabbed them all and off we go! To the front … to plant us some pacifiers!
I am so worried, but figured I would just keep on going til she started to balk … then we sat down, had our watering can ready, dug our holes, and OMG! She could not chuck those pacifiers into the dirt fast enough! Literally tossing them in two at time! I couldn’t dig holes in time!!
I was in shock! I kept saying, “Luna Marie you have to say ‘Bye bye paci! I am a big girl, I don’t need you anymore, I can sleep without you!’” And she just rattled it off like it meant nothing! She was soooo focused on the lollipops I guess! So we threw dirt on them (I knew I wouldn’t pull one out so I couldn’t go back), we patted them down, and we put water … NOW WE WAIT!
Cut to nap time! I remind her, “We buried the pacis and they are going to grow into lollipops … so no paci at nap time.” SHE LOOKED AT ME IN SHOCK like her heart dropped! Like she just at that moment got it! … C R A P!
THEN STARTS THE BEGGING!!! She says, “NO NO NO!!! PACIS PLEASE!!! I LOVE MY PACI. PLEEEEEZE!” Yep… NOW my heart is breaking … then racing …”ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN ANYWHERE???!!!” I THINK TO MYSELF. NO! CRAPPITY CRAP CRAP!…
I try to soothe her, tell her, “Remember, lollipops will grow … if you sleep!” I ask her to try … to which she croaks out an “Okay Mama…” Yes, I feel like the Grinch who stole Christmas.
The nap kinda goes well … a lot of crying and moaning … and then boom! She did it! Wow!
Cut to night time. Once again, I remind her she is a big girl … no more pacis … and tomorrow lollipops would grow. AGAIN WITH THE CRYING. NOW I know for sure I am the worst mother in the whole world!
I soothe, I remind, I rock a bit … and then I give her her lovey Limey — a little soft colored toy — and I say, “Limey will keep you company til you sleep.” This actually worked. I was amazed — first night, she actually fell asleep! UNTIL 2 A.M.!
At 2 a.m., it starts all over!!! The begging, the crying, the pleading … it has to be the saddest thing I have ever seen. I soothe, I REMIND, “When the morning comes, we will look and see if lollipops grew!” This phrase slowly does the trick. Once again, she tries to sleep.
Somehow, she makes it through the night. WHEW!!! She slept. Me, not so much. I was always on edge, thinking,”Is she gonna wake? Can she do it? Are there REALLY no more pacifiers in my diaper bag?! Why did I have to do it now?! Is it too gross, if I were to dig one out of the dirt?!” I thought it all!
I fell asleep for a few hours (I think) and when I woke, I ran downstairs and lovingly wrapped an organic lollipop in aluminum foil… with a stem and a lil leafy thing so I could poke it into the ground!
I know it’s ridiculous. I was so worried about the presentation. DUH! IT’S A LOLLIPOP!!! KIDS WILL CHEW OFF THEIR OWN ARM FOR CANDY!!! OF COURSE SHE WILL LOVE IT! I just couldn’t help it … I wanted it to be pretty.
Luna Marie wakes up. I PRAISE HER like she just graduated from Harvard!!! Seriously, I couldn’t stop gushing!!! And immediately she says, “I WANT TO SEE IF A LOLLIPOP GREW!” I tell you it was just like Christmas!
She ran to the door, trying to open it … she’s 2 so of course she couldn’t! But she was bouncing off it trying so hard … and then I helped her. She ran out into the front yard and stopped. She sees it, then she screams so loud, “MAMA A LOLLIPOP GREW!!! I AM A BIG GIRL NOW!!!”
The smile that spread on her face was huge! Perfect and precious! Honestly, I think I started crying! I was just so happy for her. (I am a wuss, I know.) Then she ran, dug it out and started dancing! I kid you not … you know, the happy food dance! I live on a busy street, so she told the neighbor Jim … she told the woman walking the dog! She was gushing to anybody and everybody!
And just like that, I felt like the GRINCH WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS! I wasn’t such a horrible mom after all. UNTIL I told her she had to wait til after breakfast to eat it!!! Oh boy!
THANK YOU LOLLIPOPS! YOU SAVED MY LIFE!