Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Little Addict

(Or Why Playing Into Your Child's Bedtime Quirks Can Backfire)

Blue pacifier is GONE.

Confession time: my 2 1/2 year old still uses a pacifier in her crib.  The shame.

Madison was a pacifier addict.  It's bad.  There was no encouraging her to take a pacifier as a newborn.  That girl LOVES her paci.  I don't feel bad about letting her have one.  She had such a strong sucking reflex that I would have been a 24/7 pacifier if we hadn't let her have it.  She was a little particular about the brand, but once she found one she loved, she was hooked.  (Reagan is less of an addict, but she's an addict too.  Yeah, yeah.  My kids love them.)

One of my favorite milestones was when she could put the pacifier in all by herself.  I was no longer required to replace lost pacifiers.  When she could put it in herself in the car, even better.  We had dozens of these things in all sorts of cute patterns.

I never worried too much.  She didn't need them to fall asleep (most of the time they were on the floor by the time she fell asleep), and didn't call for us when they fell out of her crib in the night.  Her verbal skills are crazy advanced, so we didn't worry about any delays from the paci. 

When she was a year old, we knew we'd need to start cutting it out of her life.  We cut it to crib and car only.  She had a few that lived in her crib and a few that lived in the car, and she was completely fine with it.  After a couple months, we started "forgetting" her pacifier in the car.  She was fine with that too.

But the crib is another story.  That's her lovey, her security blanket.  If you want Madison to get in her crib, you need to have a paci in there.

That was fine for a long time, but now we've been caught playing into a cute little obsession of hers.  She's down to six pacifiers from the dozens she once had, and obviously, we aren't buying any more.  They live in the crib, and she gets them at night and nap time.  For the past couple of months, she's been obsessed with one in particular.  Blue pacifier.  She likes having the selection, but really, she only wants the blue one.  We've been playing into this way more than we should be, saying things like "Are you ready to go upstairs and get your blue pacifier in your bed?"  Because it works.

Before I hear from the dental crew, she sees a pediatric dentist, and he is totally unconcerned about her bedtime addiction.  Her bite is fine, and he told us kids who are broken before they're ready tend to become thumb suckers, and that is REALLY hard to break.  So he told us she'd give it up soon enough, when she was ready, and to remember that we're talking about a REAL child, not the actual pacifier.  I think I breathed about twenty times easier after he told us that.

Lately, she's getting sneaky.  I think it's partly jealousy that Reagan still has unrestricted access.  She's been guilty of sneaking a suck or two from Reagan's (which are a different brand).  But it's also partly that she's getting craftier.  She can go upstairs and play in her room independently (I put her monitor on) and she's figured out that she can reach into her crib and get them out.  Occasionally she'll wander downstairs with one or two.  She knows that's forbidden, so she does try to be sneaky, and she'll tuck them away downstairs.  I combat this by making sure they're out of her reach when she gets up, but I keep forgetting to tell others that they need to be aware of this.

Today, I wasn't the one who got her up from her nap.

And tonight, blue pacifier is missing.

Oh crap.

My guess is she smuggled it out of her room this afternoon, probably when I was busy with Reagan.  And she probably hid it, and now she doesn't remember where.

We spent fifteen minutes searching the house with a pajama clad, whimpering toddler.  I peeked into Reagan's room, we looked behind her crib, we searched all her usual hiding places upstairs and down.

It's gone.  Uh oh.

We finally admitted defeat and told her we'd just have to continue the search tomorrow.  Keeping her up past bedtime to search for a crutch we should really be encouraging her to grow out of is probably not in our best interest.  She whimpered a bit more, but she allowed us to put her in the crib.  She put a pink one in and asked again for the blue one.  I reminded her it was missing and she cried "Oh blue pacifier where did you GO???"

She's asleep now, and she didn't fight it for too long, so we may be on our way to having her let go of this addiction, or at the very least, the particular fixation on the one.

Of course, we still have to find it.  I can just see us getting her completely off this fixation, and then having it turn up and starting all over.

Why do I see myself staying up tonight searching for blue pacifier?  For a kid who really shouldn't need one anymore?  Is it because I subconsciously don't want her to grow up?  Is it because it'll drive me nuts knowing it's somewhere in the house?

No matter what the reason, I know I'll do it.

Go ahead, judge away.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Web Analytics