A friend who lives off the coast of Washington sent us a beautiful piece about her daughter Olive’s battle with the pacie. Anyone struggling with the pacie breakup will appreciate her wisdom. My boys never really took to pacifiers, in fact I remember being very stern with the nurses after delivery that no pacies were to be given to the boys. By the end of their first week I was desperate for them to use them. Since I was their only pacifier of skin and fat… I was beyond exhausted. I was hopeful that a little rubber could take my place even for an hour. I was glad in a way that neither became “pacie addicts”, but I can also see the real need. The name says it all. Piper seems to enjoy them…so far. I am still waiting for the day I see the first grader with the pacie. The addiction can be broken. but is it worth it??
So I introduce you to a wonderful writer who isn’t afraid to tell it how it is and who makes parenting three beautiful little blonde ladies look beyond easy. Be prepared to have a “girl crush”. I have become addicted to her words and ease of life being a Mama. I promise if you are having a bad day just read babybysea. Here is the story of little Miss Olive and her love for her pacie.
Like a good addict, she puts off quitting until tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, she promises with hands crossed that tomorrow will definitely be the day. If we go out to eat, she stashes one in her pocket. Just. In. Case, she says with quiet, guilty breath. She’s got one hidden in the secret hole by her seat in the car, and four or five more stashed under her pillow. Might need ‘em, Mama, she says with quiet, guilty breath.
At first, I thought it was peer pressure. But, none of her friends are into them anymore. It’s really the younger crowd. She’s not afraid of what people think; she’ll use anywhere.
Sadly, our other two daughters were the same way; although our eldest quit cold turkey. We cut the tip of the pacifier one day and Betty was done. Oh well, paph-ier broken. Me so sad, said Betty as she moved on to loving her stuffed pig, Wilbur. We cut the tips of our middle daughter’s pacifiers and it seemed to make absolutely no difference to her. Lucy would have sucked on the plastic end until her teenage years if we hadn’t of intervened. For days we visited our local toy store and coveted the stuffed animals for sale. She fell in love with a black kitty we said was way too much money. At the end of the week, we told Lucy we’d found out she could trade all her pacifiers for it. Promptly, we walked down to adopt Pa-phy Kitty. Lucy still sleeps with hands clutched to the kitty’s paw.
We’ve told Olive about all the babies in the world that need pacifiers and how happy she could make them my placing her giant pile in the mailbox. We’ve spoken about a fairy that leaves presents for little ones who leave out their pacifiers over night. She’s heard about trading them in at our toy store, but says, I have lots of toys, Mama. No thank you trade pa-phy.
Sometime between sunrise with the frogs singing at the across-the-street pond and coffee pot’s automatic brew amidst robin’s morning chirp, we decided to tell Olive she’d no longer have her pacifier unless she was in her bed. She cried for six solid hours. At naptime, she sat on her tiny mattress and said, All-ive no sleep! Love my pa-phies! I took her on a minivan ride to the valley of our island and finally, she stopped screaming. I looked in the rearview mirror to see that she’d found a hidden pacifier in car seat’s cup holder. Look, Mama. See?! All-ive love pa-phy!
After a full day of tears, I just can’t be the one to break her heart. Maybe since she’s my third child it leaves me a bit vulnerable, but I can’t be the one to take what she loves most away and I certainly can’t go about my day with that much crying. Maybe someday soon we’ll meet in the middle with a bucket full of pacifiers tossed into the sea (or an inflatable baby pool) with a wish, like pennies into a fountain. Or, maybe we’ll talk enough about all this and she’ll make the decision on her own. Maybe, just maybe, it’s enough to know that I can’t force my children to do something they just aren’t ready to do.