Friday, February 11, 2011

paci? what paci?

Annaleigh is a happier baby...
Annaleigh sleeps more soundly... that she is "paci" free!

Not what I ever imagined.

Do I regret ever giving her a paci, since I was so recently zealous in wanting her to be rid of it?
Absolutely not.

She was a "sucker" from the womb (for lack of a better term).  When she would breastfeed, she would end up "hanging-out" after she was full.  Not that I was upset by that or anything, but I did have other things to accomplish in life rather than be a human-pacifier.

Enter the plastic pacifier.  As soon as the lactation consultants gave us the go-ahead, I was all over that like Annaleigh on me bees on honey!

I was able to soothe her without being the one to soothe her.

She forged a strong relationship with that thing.  My grandfather used to say, "You can't love anything that doesn't love you back."  But Annaleigh did.  And I'm pretty sure I could hear a small, unfamiliar, audible voice declaring its love to my baby girl.  They were inseparable.

Then the day came were they started to plot against me.  Using each other to gain my attention.  The paci would jump out of Annaleigh's mouth, during nap time, and land somewhere difficult to find and retrieve.  Under the crib, stuck between the bumper pad and the wall, the 'blind-spot' under the rocker, inside a book....

Annaleigh would proceed to scream, wail, and cry.  Clearly signifying the separation of the paci from her mouth.

I enter the room.  Both the paci and baby would grin from ear to ear.  You little stinker, I'd say in my head.

The frequency of this performance increased.  And then they took the show on the road:  the car rides.

Of all the reasons I thought Annaleigh and her paci should breakup (#1 she's a toddler.  #2  if I wait - she'll soon be a 3YO with it hanging out of her mouth with no chance of separation.  #3  she needs to learn the art of self-soothing sooner than later.  and the list goes on...) the greatest of reasons is:  manipulation.

I refuse to, aware-ly, be manipulated by a child.

On Monday, February 7th, she helped me throw away her pacis (all of them) into the trash.  She cried.  (A little piece of her heart seemed to leave her at that moment which made me cry in my heart, too.  A bittersweet day, for all of us.)  Soon she was off blissfully (and ignorantly) playing a few seconds later.

Nap-time came.  And the realization hit her.  Her pacis were gone!  Oh, the terror!  Oh, the injustice!  Oh, the horror!

Screaming and dry-heaving like never before.

Usually, a thing like that rocks me to my core.  I can't stand it.  It breaks my heart.  I go insane inside my head.  A strong urge to hurl my tense body out a window overwhelms me.  Thankfully, our landlord has either screwed a screen or plexiglass, permanently, to the outside of each of our windows.  

But this time I smiled.  Outright.  Confident I was doing the right thing for my baby girl.  (However, I was also secretly terrified I had willingly entered into a inescapable sort-of 'hell'.  What was I doing?  Am I crazy?  Will it be worth sacrificing my sanity over a pacifier??)  But I stood firm.  I never allowed the lure of that beautiful Greek siren to pull me towards demise.  I remained strong.

About 2-1/2 days later:  no screaming, no crying, no dry-heaving.

Our routine now is placing her in the crib, softly stroking her cheek as I tell her I love her, and walking away.  Simple as that.  No drama.

I no longer hear the paci's voice.  Yet, now, a new voice fills the room.  One of a baby girl, sweetly talking to her little "lamby" as she drifts off to sleep.  No paci could have ever made that happen.

Good riddens, you little stinker.

1 comment:

  1. woohoo! With each of my kids, the paci-withdrawal was different. It was definitely hardest with my first, but I was determined that each kid be paci-free by age one.
    Yeah, I hate manipulation. Especially by little ones. it makes me feel so unsmart. :)


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown