Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pacifier, Smashifier!

I am by no means an expert on parenting.  This past weekend confirms the fact that I often just stumble into dumb luck most of the time.

Little man will be two in a couple of months and we decided that it was time for him to kick the pacifier. 

He only used it for naps and bedtime but it was a pain in my ass.  My regular readers know that I throw a handful of pacifiers in his crib at night in case he accidently throws one out.   I don’t have the temperament to go back and find it when he wakes up at 3am crying hysterical.  So, I decided early on to make it a smorgasbord of binkies every night.  Unfortunately, he still managed to lose them all some nights and wake up screaming.

The thing I find ironic is that the whole time I was pregnant; I swore that I was not going to fall into the pacifier trap.  In fact, I only registered for one pacifier that I was going to keep just in case there was an emergency.

Then the hospital rolled in my little newborn bundle of joy with what in his mouth?  A pacifier.   Now I was really confused.   Everything I read said not to give them one until they took to the breast and here they were sticking one in him his first moments of breath.    How did I not know this would happen?

I blame them for his addiction and not breast feeding.   Damn hospitals.

I tried not to give it to him when we got home, but 3 days of that thing in the hospital was enough to cause withdrawals.   For both of us.   The pacifier is a magical thing and I think parents get addicted to the way they silence a kid just as much as a kid get hooked on sucking one.

So off to the store we went to stock up.

Fast forward to almost two years later, he still used one to sleep.

But times were changing and my baby was just assigned his 2014 New Year’s resolution – kick the habit.

But how?

Typical me -- I googled and pinterested (is that even a word) it for days.

Go cold turkey.  Wean from naps first.  Cut a hole in it.  Let the kid throw it away.  Have them place it in a Build-A-Bear.

Now that last one, I questioned.  Knowing my kid?  He would spend every waking moment screaming and trying to get out.  It seemed like a disaster in the making to me but it also seemed so cute.   Looking back I think I just wanted to go to Build-A-Bear.

But when should we do it?  It had to be a weekend because I was not going to work after a night of crying.   And it needed to be a weekend without my stepson because I didn’t think I wanted two kids in the house while I was sleep deprived.

I realized the upcoming 3-day MLK weekend was perfect! We didn’t have my stepson and  I would get an extra day to recover.

But no, we had tickets to Billy Joel that Friday night and I wasn’t going to throw away the pacifiers and have my mom watch him the first night.  That just didn't seem fair to either of them.

I went back and forth, back and forth.  What to do?  I realized I was more nervous about the process than he was and was trying to find an excuse.

Then fate stepped in.

We got back home from the Billy Joel concert to a frazzled Grandma who insisted that we needed to talk about my son’s bedtime routine because she had a horrible night of it.

I knew my son had been fighting against bedtime the past couple of days, but it was still a 20 minute (MAX) process.

What she described sounded like an absolute horror.

“Thank goodness we didn’t decide to wean him off his pacifier tonight – could you imagine?”, I muttered.

“Ummmmm, pacifier?” my mom responded.  “I forgot he used a pacifier to sleep.  You mean I did this to myself?!”

WAIT????!!   WHAT???!!!    The little man was currently sleeping without a pacifier?

And that is how we broke him of it.  

I won’t say it went smoothly after that.   He woke up at 4am and cried until he passed out exhausted at 6am.

I ended up taking a pacifier out, cutting the tip off and showing him it was “broken” and then letting him watch me throw it away.

For two days, he looked in the trash can hoping it had been magically resurrected.  Fortunately for me, it didn’t register than only one binkie was in there.   He never questioned where the others were.

Now we have to turn on his turtle so he can see the stars and the moon on his ceiling, but I think I like that as much as he does.

Other than that?  I think it went pretty well.

I knew I could do it…it was a walk in the park.

PS:  Oh yeah...thanks mom!

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