Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Giving up the good stuff and other lessons learned...

My sweet Little Miss just turned 2 in mid July. Her daddy has said all along that when she had her birthday, we needed to get serious about losing the beloved pacifier.


Let me just say "easier said than done" is quite the understatement.

Little Miss has three loves in life. Her thick pink blankie (bee-hee), her stuffed Giraffe (Gigi) and her pacifier (P). These three things are like a combo pack of love. She's rarely without 2 of the 3, usually Gigi and P because Beehee is just too big to take everywhere. (getting these items washed regularly is another story for another time)

I have no problem with her comfort items. Life is tough, and being 2 is hard, and a girl needs her comfort items! I have my diet coke and chocolate, why shouldn't she have Gigi, P, and Beehee? But Dadddy had a point, and if she didn't lose the P soon, it would only get harder and eventually start to mess up her teeth. I didn't want her to be 3 or 4 and still have P, and as hard as it was now, it would only get worse. Time to get tough.

I originally decided we'd wean her off it, and start using it for sleep only - naps and bedtime. That seemed fair. But nothing is fair when you are 2, and Little Miss didn't understand why her P was suddenly off limits during the day. I don't blame her, its confusing. The more we tried to convince her she was a big girl and didn't need it, the more adament she got about wanting it. Talk about backfire. It barely left her mouth for days.

So I decided to try the pinhole method. My mom, during one of the days of the week she keeps her for me to work part time, used a sterilized pin and poked a few holes in the nipple of the P. We waited anxiously, hoping Little Miss would realize it was different and felt funny and that would be that.

Yeah...she never even noticed.

This past Friday morning, I decided it was time to commit. We only have two P's. Little Miss thinks we only have 1. So, I stashed one P in my dresser drawer, took the one she's been used to, and after baking cinnamon rolls (yes, I felt ridiculously guilty and was trying to suck up) I cut P in half. Just chopped the nipple in half with scissors so it was a big rubber hole and stashed it under her stuffed animals to find later in the morning.

I was a WRECK. Little Miss sat happily at her table, chowing down on yummy cinnamon rolls with extra icing, while my stomach churned four feet away as I stared guilty at the hidden P. I was the worst mother EVER. I broke into a sweat. I thought I would be sick. I was certain the rest of the day, post discovery, would be nothing but blood, sweat and tears for both of us.

Daddy, the instigator of the P removal process, got to spend the day outside working in his barn and doing yardwork. Grrrrr.

She asked for P twice. I distracted her for about thirty minutes. Asked again. So I let her find it, and watched as she popped it in her mouth.

She popped it back out and studied it. Turned to me. "P?"

I put on my Mommy Surprise Face. "Oh no! P broke!"

She nodded. "P broke!" Still surprise. No tantrum. I waited.

"Want to throw it away?" I asked, then ducked.

She nodded. "Okay." Toddled to trash and chucked it.

My mouth fell open. She toddles back. "P broke." No fit. Just acceptance.

I fell back on the couch, singing silent hallejuahs to the heavens. I was home free. Relief and joy nestled deep in my heart and a burden lifted off my guilty shoulders. I'd done it. Stuck it out. Done the hard stuff. Did what was best and not easy. I was super mom!!! I was--

"Another P?"

I was screwed.

I told her we didn't have another P. She thought for a minute. "Nana have P?"

Nope. Nana doesn't have any more P's either.

Sad face. "P broke."

I nodded. "Yep. P broke."

She accepted the fact, and began to play. I cautiously rejoiced again. Now, several days later, we still hear "p broke. I'm sad. p broke" once every few hours, and it was the first announcement she made upon entering the nursery at church Sunday, and the first thing she told Nana and Papa at her next visit, but its getting better. She's adjusting. I'm adjusting. (wink) We are making it through this transition with flying colors, thanks to God's grace, my determination, her bravery, and Daddy's--well dang it, he somehow missed the entire drama.

But life is like that sometimes. Sometimes we cling to things we shouldn't for comfort instead of turning to God, who can offer a peace that passes all understanding. What is your "p" today? What are you hanging onto that you know isn't good for you? That you know is only going to cause issues in the future?

Are you willing to give it to God, and trust in Him instead?

Little Miss's advice when your "p breaks" is to turn to your best friend. In her case, its Gigi. I still catch her holding Gigi up, face to face, eye to eye, and telling her "P broke. I'm sad. It's okay." Then she gives Gigi a big hug.

God wants to hear your sorrow today and help make it better. Will you give him the chance?


  1. Better a little heartbreak now than still using it in high school! Yes, as a former teacher, I can attest to the fact that thumb sucking and pacifiers still show up sometimes at that age. My two boys both were thumb suckers and I had to bribe them at age 5 with some great G.I. Joe stuff to get the habit broken! Bribe, you say? Believe me, I tried everything else first, LOL!

  2. Betsy,
    I think you need to send this in to a Mom's magazine. I loved the whole story. My son is five, and he was still on the bottle at three. No, not all the time, and it was mostly my fault. See, at the end of the day, he would crawl in my lap and we'd watch Thomas the Train while he took his final bottle. I love, love, loved that time and didn't want to give it up. Finally, Daddy growled. And, we hid the last bottle and he only asked for it three times and stopped.

  3. Loved your story. Glad you broke that habit. Good momma. :) My daughter and her stinky binky parted ways when she was three. My son and his thumb took intervention from the orthodontist. $4000 later we learned our lesson.

  4. My grandson just went through this experience and he is almost two. Glad I can watch my son and his wife, and now you with your experience from the distance of being the grandma...whew.

    Love the analogy by the way.

    Peace, Julie


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