I found this post in my drafts and wanted to publish it. I realize it's still relevant and a lesson in my parenting of Neva. She's almost three now. We gave up the paci and never looked back. And however reluctant I am to propel change with her, she always handles it well. The shift to a toddler bed, the paci, diapers. I hold off thinking she's not ready, but she always is. Maybe it's last child syndrome. I was so ready for Gracie to tackle new things. But I kinda want Neva to stay my baby.
Neva. She's always been a bit reluctant to change. Or so I tell myself. She's a bit more sensitive than Grace and a lot more stubborn. She spent the first two years of her life either in my arms OR begging to be back in them.
We got rid of Gracie's pacifier early. Right around a year. She started waking up in the middle of the night and crying for the paci and so I collected them and threw them away. And that was that.
Neva, on the other hand, is two and a half and until this weekend, she still used her pacifier at naps and at nighttime. We set deadlines and they passed. "Oh, we'll do it after that trip to Chicago." Then she'd get sick. "Oh, after the wedding in Seattle." Then we were moving. So on and so forth. Somehow we got here. To two and half with a pacifier that she's very, very attached to.
She is only allowed to use it during sleeping times but occasionally, I'd walk past her room and I'd see her take a quick paci hit...a couple of quick sucks...and back under the pillow. We knew it was time to move on but I was reluctant to deal with the transition. It was the first thing she looked for when climbing into bed. It was her lovey.
The other night, Donovan put the girls to bed and Neva couldn't find her paci and Donovan didn't help her search for it. I would have been stomach down on the floor, arms flailing through the dust bunnies under the bed but not Donovan. He told her we'd find it in the morning. She said "okay" and went to sleep.
WHAT? She didn't cry and moan? She didn't come out begging for us to find the paci? She just went to sleep? Yep.
She woke up a few times requesting it but slept pretty well over all. I just told her I'd find it in the morning. And then morning came, and we didn't bother to look for it. So she went to bed the next night and we had the same conversation. We'd find it tomorrow, probably. But tomorrow came and went and we decided this was the time. Because we'd talked a lot about the "paci fairy" coming, I bought her a little stuffed animal and book and tucked it into her bed when she wasn't looking. We wrote a little note and waited for her to find it.
I wish I had a picture of it. "Wook Gwacie! Wook at what I got!" Her smile was, is, contagious. We've made a conscious effort to stop buying stuff over the past year and that makes these moments special. Because she rarely gets new toys, when she does, it really means something.
At least for a few hours.
It makes me feel like our attempt to slow down and cut back, to replace our stuff with experiences, is really paying off. I like buying stuff for my kids. My family. My house. But it feels so much better when it feels meaningful.
i can't believe my baby is almost three.