Let's talk about pacifiers.
Better yet, let's talk about breaking bad habits.
My pediatrician - whom I trust only slightly less than God and every bit as much as Georgia's Mom to tell me the truth - says there is a golden age for dropping bottles and pacifiers. She tells me that between 12-18 months, children begin to form emotional attachments to their comfort objects. So if you drop them before that age, it's not a big deal (my neighbor testifies to this, having dropped the paci at 14 months painlessly). But we waited, because at the time that Asher was 12-18 months old, he was also becoming a big brother. He just seemed too young, the transition too big, and the pay-off too small for us to tackle the it back then. Asher has always only had a pacifier when he's getting ready to sleep (or just waking up), so it wasn't impeding his language development. And just as she predicted, over time he became attached to his pacifier.
Last week he said, "But my paci is my BEST FRIEND." It was like THAT, friends.
We tried to drop the pacifier - using my neighbor's formula of weaning slowly and systematically over 3-4 weeks, until the habit is broken before the pacifier is completely taken away - right around this time last year. I don't know what to say, except that it just didn't work. He didn't cry for his pacifier, he just wouldn't sleep. Ever. Not one time. Ever. We had taken the pacifier away at naptime, so that he was using it only at bedtime, and he would lay in his bed - talking, screeching, throwing his blankets, whatever - two hours every day, for one solid month. But I was not backing down, because that's just the kind of girl I am. Eventually he HAD to nap without a pacifier. The law of large numbers had to work in my favor eventually, right? Then one day, just before Christmas, Asher went to sleep at naptime effortlessly. Success! I thought. The paci habit had finally been broken. I'm pretty sure I even called Georgia's Mom to sing We Are the Champions.
After a long, deserved nap, Asher woke up happy and chatty (let's be clear - if he's happy he's chatty. If he's sad he's chatty. If the boy is awake, he's talking. But I digress). I walked into his room, smiling, ready to celebrate our victory. "Look Mama!" he said. "Orange paci kept me company during naptime!" A pacifier had been lurking - the traitor - under his bedding, and Asher had found it.
So we gave up. Silas was increasingly refluxy, it was the holidays, we had gone a MONTH without naptimes, and my will had been broken. Paci: 1, Stephanie: 0.
(It's breakfast time now. Stay tuned for Part 2).