Friday, March 23, 2012


Parent Fail: Your kid is old enough to clearly articulate her need for her pacifier.

Yup, that's where Maeve has been the past few months.

"Mommy, paci please?" she pleads in a clear voice the moment we walk into her room for nap time.

"Puppy and paci!" she squeals. Pajama clad and teeth freshly brushed, she's ready for bed, only missing her two most favorite things: her stuffed puppy and her pacifier.

And so the routine continued well past the time I intended.
 It was only suppose to be there until she was one.
No, I meant eighteen months.
Well, really, I meant until she was two. Two is a good age, right?

She was two January 20, and she still had that darn pacifier. Better than the thumb.

I made that mistake with Mo early on. I missed the pacifier window and she found her thumb!

For three years that thumb 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, easy access to sucking. Whenever she needed it, be it moments of exhaustion or fear or boredom, the thumb was there.

I begged, pleaded, swatted, and promised rewards, but that kid was stubborn. She continued to suck. 

It took an intervention from our pediatric dentist to stop her. This woman has a way with words, scared straight for the thumb sucking crowd. 

Cold turkey she abandoned the thumb at 3 years 5 months for fear of those yucky germs making it into her mouth by way of her thumb. She was scared, frozen with fear, that germs would make her sick, and that fear helped her stop. 

Maeve would not be a three year old with a pacifier, I promised myself. 

So at our first appointment with the pediatric dentist at two years old, I asked her to try her best. 

The doc let me down. 

"Well, usually I don't recommend taking the pacifier away until around two and a half" she started. "We've seen our fair share of kids who have the pacifier taken away too early and then they find their thumb, which as you know is much more difficult to stop." 

Not what I wanted to hear. 

Where's the "Maeve there's germs!" lecture?

Did I really think that that same bit would work with a twenty four month old?

well maybe a little,
I guess I hoped it worked. 

The dentist did all the hard work with Mo, and I was kind of hoping she'd do it again with Maeve. Scare her straight, and then I could go on my merry way! 

Instead we were left to our devices. I should admit, Maeve was not a hard core paci kid. No public sucking here, except for the rare instance we were out significantly past bedtime. She could car nap without it successfully but never went without during crib naps or bedtime.

I have a confession. I was chickenshit to take away the pacifier because I dreaded the thought of how this could affect MY SLEEP. Sure, my kid might have some separation anxiety with the loss of the paci, but I was terrified of night upon night of wailing and tears over the loss of her paci.

Pathetic even,
but mama needs her sleep.
Really this is not an understatement, ask any member of my family and they will let you know what a biatch I can be when I am sleep deprived. 

After the reprieve from the dentist, I decided to wait.

For a month I waited, and then the light bulb went off in my head.

What if I persuaded Maeve to give her pacifier to a baby? Lucky for us, our good friends were expecting their first child the middle of April and they knew he was a boy.

Slowly, during diaper changes and before bed and nap time I brought up the idea of giving her paci to baby PJ.

At first her response was a clear and distinct, "NOPE" as she shoved that paci into her mouth. Then slowly, her response would shift. On some occasions, it was "Nope" while other days it would be "Yup, give paci to Pa'rick".

I thought we had a few more weeks to prep Maeve for it, but alas, we were wrong.

Lynsay gave birth four weeks early late Wednesday evening to a healthy, happy, and perfect little boy. Patrick Joseph  or PJ was here.

Taking it upon himself last night, Bry asked Maeve the familiar question, "Are you going to give baby PJ your paci?"
"Yup!" she said.
"Well, he's here now, so I'll take them" he continued, three pacifiers in his hand. Time for bed.

With a slight whimper, she snuggled with her puppy and stuffed pig and that was that.

The end of the pacifiers in one night.

No kicking.
No screaming.
No crying.
All sleeping.

Pacifier and Thumb sucking free!
Sometimes it's best not to worry about things, as they have a way of working out in the end. If only everything was this easy with parenting.

Linking up with the fabulous Alison & Galit for their Monthly Meme:


  1. I was deathly afraid to take Harlan's away & the same paci, all sleep!

  2. really? REALLY? i was supposed to wean Lovie at 2 (she only has it during naps at home- not even at school!!- and at bedtime). but i couldn't. for the same reason as you: i need sleep. i keep telling her it's for babies but she still says she's a baby so that's not working. haha. i wish i knew a baby being born. hmm.

    and really? she gave up the paci and she doesn't ask for it or anything anymore? just like that?!??

    1. Christina, it's only been one night- but YES! So far, so good. She asked for it this morning, but I told her Baby PJ has it. She whimpered and was over it.

  3. Congratulations on Operation Paci!!

    And seriously cute kids you've got there.

  4. LOVE this story! And hope when its' time for mine to get rid of his paci, it's this easy!

  5. Oh kids, they really come through for us !! Maeve is such a cutie sweetheart. Congrats mommy!!

  6. congrats. it took a visit from the Soo-soo fairy for my middle child to give hers up. and there were no problems at all with sleeping. I was quite surprised. I got lucky with #1 and #3 - they hated a pacifier and didn't use their thumb either.
    now, if I can just pry those dirty, raggedy stuffed lovies from their fingers....

  7. HOORAy you! That's FABULOUS!

    (Also? I'm so with you on the sleep thing, I take it VERY seriously! :))

  8. Oh how great is that! I don't feel bad now admitting my 2 1/2 yr old still has his pacifier. Only at nap and bedtime (and only at home; not at nap at daycare so of course that tells you he doesn't need it). My oldest cried for three days straight. The middle girl was eh, whatever, can I just go to sleep. The boy is a bit more stubborn and strong willed. I foresee it being an issue that a new baby won't fix. I've been asking and he's been saying hell no (close enough). I'm going to try to puncture it, see if it makes a difference.


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