I think it’s fair to say that when you’re expecting your first child you have all sorts of hopes and wishes and thoughts for how you want to raise your child, and how you hope they will behave. Things you’re sure they will and won’t do.
But what no one really tells you is all that junk just flies right out the window once that little bundle comes along. You can shape, mold, pray, cross your fingers that they won’t do this or that. But ultimately that little bundle comes into the world an individual.
For instance, there are two thoughts I had before my girl was born that immediately come to mind. I was certain my child would not be one to be up until 10pm and wouldn’t use a pacifier. I’m sure there are a few other statements I made or thought early on, that I can eat now, but those two definitely stick out. Our girl is a night owl, and she only within the last month or so gave up her paci (she’s 3). Don’t judge! I saw a kid at Walmart that had to be about six years old with a pacifier in her mouth, now that I thought was a bit much, but to each their own.
You have to pick your battles as a parent, that is for sure. I tried back in the spring to cut out the pacifier, and the time just wasn’t right. I narrowed usage down to nap and bedtime only, which was no small feat. But when I tried to take it away at nap time, utter misery consumed the house. So after a week of not giving my girl the paci at nap time, I gave it back. It just wasn’t worth the whining and stress and no napping…which she desperately needed.
I had been talking up the “paci faerie” for some time and how the faerie knows when you’re ready to give your pacifier up. That the paci faerie comes at night, much like the tooth fairie, and takes the pacifier(s) and gives them to brand new babies that need them. In return the faerie will leave a new toy.
So we discussed this randomly, and I would ask if she was ready to put her paci under her pillow. Most of the time the answer was “no” or “how about…Tuesday.” Well, the right Tuesday finally came along. I told her we would make a special box to put her paci in. (She was down to one pacifier at this point. One had already “disappeared” a few weeks earlier. Apparently taken by the sneaky faerie during the day. )
I had a small pillow box that she helped decorate, and make special for the faerie. I then had her put the paci in the box herself and tuck it under her pillow.
She was so concerned with which faerie would come for the package. She is not only princess obesessed, but Disney faerie obsessed as well. She was convinced it would be Tinkerbell, so I told her I would set up a camera and try and get some pictures of the faerie that came in the night.
So this is what I got
So my girl was happy with her gift the next morning, and totally in awe that the faerie actually had come and taken her paci away. Now, the next couple nights were pretty rough. I got a lot of “I don’t like the paci faerie” and “I want the faerie to bring my paci back.” And I totally got it. Her dad and I just tried to reinforce that she was such a big girl, and had done such a big girl thing by giving her paci to a baby that needed it.
Now it’s me that wishes I could bring it back so that the child would nap on occasion, but such is life!
And I have one more photo I have to include. She did all right until she had to put the box under her pillow and walk away, and this is what giving up a small part of her babyhood looked like…
I have to admit I felt pretty terrible, even though I know it was something that needed to happen. Luckily, she had had a long and nap-less day, so she went to sleep pretty quickly that night.
Growing up sure is hard to do! I guess that’s why we only do it once.