Sunday, January 31, 2010

The De-Pacification Of An Almost Three Year Old Part I

When hubby and I only had Princess #1, we did everything by The Book. I mean, that's why The Book exists, right? To aid in the creation of perfect parents. We paid meticulous attention to detail when strapping Princess #1 into her carseat (the highest approved carseat at the time according to The Book, mind you). She did not ingest even the tiniest bit of "real" food prior to the age of 6 months. Naptimes were strictly adhered to, as was bedtime. We very carefully waited The Book approved 4 weeks to introduce a bottle, in order to ensure no nipple confusion occurred. And we waited the same amount of time to introduce The Paci.

We were reluctant to at all. We had seen those children, you've seen them too. The ones old enough to be in preschool, walking alongside their parents, carrying on a conversation in complete sentences behind a pacifier. We cringed in disbelief and judgment, you know, us being the perfect parents doing everything by The Book and all. How anyone could allow their near school aged child to walk around with such a prominent piece of babyhood was beyond us. A child clearly old enough to reason and be reasoned with, to calm without a piece of silicone stuffed in their mouth. We vowed that OUR children would never commit such a social faux pas.

Oh and how perfect we were. Princess #1 showed only a mild interest in The Paci, taking it from time to time but never developing a strong attachment to it. By the age of 8 months old, we lost the only paci we had, and we never purchased another. She didn't skip a beat. We congratulated ourselves on a successful run with The Paci. We were sure that WE should be writing the next edition of The Book.

Our successful streak with The Paci continued with Princess #2. A colicky and high-maintenance baby, she much preferred the boob to any paci and exercised that preference often. The Paci was used some in the first four weeks, to transition her from the boob to her cradle and allowed a sleep deprived Your Majesty a few precious hours of sleep. But eventually the charm wore off and The Paci failed to deliver any sleep at all, and was cast aside as we frantically tried EVERYTHING to get Princess #2 to sleep. We had to let go a little of our perfect parent quest, as we discovered that not even everything in The Book applies to all babies, and certainly not to Princess #2.

Along then came Princess #3. My, how things are different once you have 3 children. Hubby and I were no longer playing man to man. We were clearly on zone defense. And it showed. Fortunately, the difficulty we had in parenting Princess #2 had prepared us for the transition and hubby and I learned to rely more on our instincts and less on The Book. Seasoned parents four and a half years at that point, The Book had pretty much long been forgotten, gathering dust on a virtual shelf somewhere.

Enter The Paci. Oh how The Paci took on a life of it's own for Princess #3. More accustomed to having to wait than her sisters, Princess #3 grew attached to her paci, the one thing that could offer her comfort until Your Majesty to get to her. It wasn't an unnatural attachment, but one that Your Majesty just couldn't resist. The sight of Princess #3 lying asleep in her crib, one hand on her ear and sucking away proved almost too sweet for this mama to bear. Hubby and I knew we were creating a heck of a problem we'd have to face eventually, but we really didn't care. Princess #3 was such a good natured baby and an even sweeter toddler. And since we were no longer concerned with The Book and being perfect parents, we decided to not rock the boat. We told ourselves we would deal with it later.

Well my friends, later has arrived.


  1. Good Luck - I never gave my kids paci's because I never wanted to deal with this day...

  2. Good luck. At least you CAN take it away, hard and drama-ridden as it may be. I'm dealing with an 8 year old still sucking his thumb, and the pumpkin girl is following in those footsteps. *groan*

  3. You can do it! Stay strong.
    Think of the orthodontic cost - that alone will be a motivator.

  4. Good luck to you. I know it will be hard, but it will be over sooner than you think.


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