Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pacifier -- to be or not to be -- a drawn-out question

About a month ago, I saw a jar of pacifiers at the dentist's office that kids had turned in for a toy (a LAME toy, by the way).  The jar must have planted seeds of pacifier guilt because as Silas, Eden and I were driving, I began to talk about the pacifier fairy and how, one day, she would come to our house and exchange Eden's pacifiers for a toy. Before I knew it, I was into a whole mythology about the baby fairies who cry and cry, and as they cry, their room fills with pickles, and nothing can make them stop crying but a big girl's pacifier. As soon as they start to suck a big girl's passy, all of the pickles pop into rainbow bubbles, and the baby fairies fall asleep.

I remember when my little sister had a "YaYa going away party" and she said goodbye to her yaya; and when the "dup dup fairy" came and took away my goddaughter's pacifier, but really, I hadn't thought this one through:  Eden only uses her pacifier in bed, and I've never been concerned about it -- it soothes her and she sleeps, and one day, I'm confident, she won't need it any more.  But there I was driving the car still talking about baby fairies, and the next thing I knew, Eden said she was ready for the Passy Fairy to come that night.

So she gathered her pacifiers and hung them on the doorknob in a little bag, and after she fell asleep, I shopped in the neighbor's attic and found a little china tea set that I laid out in the dark of her room. The exchange went swimmingly and the pacifiers were gone!

Long story short, after two and a half weeks of MUCH neediness at bedtime that involved clinging to my arm and wanting me to stay until she fell asleep every night (two of these weeks were vacation with my fam -- less than ideal), Ben and I gave her her pacifiers back.  I am pretty sure this is something one should *never* do, a cardinal sin of parenting, but she was so happy.  And she slept.

Two weeks later we popped into the pediatrician for a prescription for the rash she'd had around her mouth for a month, when to my shock and dismay, he said the only way to make it go away was to lose the pacifier.  Eden's eyes filled with tears, and she buried her head in my chest.  I sat there floundering in the facts.  We'd just given it back, school was about to start -- there was no way I could take it away again.  And the doctor would never have to know; the rash (which has no symptoms except aesthetic) would persist, and we'd wouldn't come back to the office.

Eden was thrilled and began saying things like, "I'll be done with this probly when I'm six." A week or so ago I must have said something that sounded mildly threatening about pacifiers because within the next two minutes, she had named each of them for the first time ever --  Rapunzel, purple Rapunzel, and (I forget the other!) -- and gathered them in her bed.

BUT -- end of the story -- yesterday out of the blue she told me she was ready to give them up again (just in time for changing classes at school Monday morning).  Two nights and several conversations later, she's stuck to it, and I think, finally, we're done.

1 comment:

mMc said...

inspiring as we are struggling with the same thing. i fear the "binks" in our house may be around until she is 10 {as she promised in a fit of rage the other night when i tried a *gentle* conversation about when the "binks" might go bye bye}....can you tell E to send some of these big girl vibes across the country?