Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Story of the Pacifier

When Michael and I knew everything about kids (read: before we had kids), we publicly declared our hatred for the pacifier.  Our kid(s) wouldn't need one and that was that.  If we DID ever use a pacifier, it would be called exactly that: a pacifier.  No paci, no binky, none of that silly stuff.  I remember throwing around the name "The Binkster" and Michael told me to stop talking.

I've written about this before but the first night home with Jude & Sloane was a total nightmare.  Everyone cried.  No one slept.  I cursed myself for not reading any books and Michael cursed himself for marrying me (he didn't say that, but I'm fairly certain he was thinking it). We finally broke down and gave the kids pacifiers.  And - I am not kidding you - the booming voice of God (or someone - it was really late) said "FINALLY."  It may have been my mom who was trying to sleep upstairs.  The kids quieted down and went to sleep immediately.  We looked at each other with wide eyes and shook our heads in disbelief.  Why did we ever curse this beautiful, magical piece of heaven? 

From day 5, our kids have been phenomenal sleepers.  In the rock n play, the pack n play, the crib, the carseat, the sofa, you name it.  And every single time (except for the car), they've had a pacifier in their mouth. 

When Jude & Sloane were a couple months old, we discovered Wubbanubs.  I'd seen other babies with these strange devices and couldn't understand why anyone other than a dog would want a stuffed animal hanging out of their mouth.  But as with everything else, we gave it a go and were so glad we did.  After losing 429 pacifiers around the house (they're worse than socks in the dryer), we easily found their Wubbanubs.  They had just enough weight to sit on the twins' stomachs while they slept, never to be lost again. 

The first time their Wubbanubs broke, we decided we'd buy one more set and that was it.  Once those broke, we'd be done.  And we stuck to our plan.  When the final Wubbanub broke, I cried.  I looked at this tiny stuffed elephant and saw the worn ear where Jude rubbed it each night.  The grey fur that looked like it'd been washed far too many times.  From there on out, we used regular pacifiers.  In hindsight, this was a good thing as the kids were both walking and the only thing weirder than a Wubbanub is a Wubbanub on a walking toddler.  Jude and Sloane had these tiny animal pendelums swinging back and forth, back and forth.

We've been pretty good at limiting their pacifier use to naptime and bedtime.  When they wake up in the morning they know to hand me their pacifiers and we put them away until it's time to go to sleep.  The only exception is when we're in public or when they're sick.  Michael and I will not leave the house without them as they have been lifesavers too many times.  They truly do pacify these kiddos.

One day I noticed I'd started calling it a "paci."  Michael cringed.  I told him I could start calling it "The Binkster" and he left the room.

We promised ourselves we would take away the pacifiers when they turned two.  10 days before their second birthday they were proud new owners of toddler beds and we knew better.  Too much change in too little time is not a good thing for our toddlers.  No, we would let them use them a little longer.  

Today was a big day.  Today we took away the pacifiers.  Poor Jude & Sloane were so confused at naptime.  They kept asking for them and we explained they were big kids and no longer needed them.  Sloane fought it at first but went to sleep in typical fashion - on her back with her arms directly above her head.  But Jude.  Poor Jude didn't understand.  He was so sad.  He cried off and on for 75 minutes before he finally fell asleep.  By that point he had no energy left to fight.  I took a shower and cried right along with him.

I think you all know by now that I do NOT like obvious proof that my babies are growing up.  When they started crawling, started walking, turned one, starting talking, stopped nursing, turned two.... I smiled on the outside and was their biggest cheerleader.  But on the inside?  On the inside I kept saying, "Please don't.  Please stop.  Stay little."  It's not that I don't look forward to their future.  I just want to let them be little for as long as possible.  Giving up the pacifier was more proof they are growing up so fast.

Tonight we let them play a little before we put them to bed.  We tucked them in and Michael said the nightly prayer (including the "P word," which we'd already decided we weren't going to say in hopes they'd already forgotten).  He said "Amen" and I carefully glanced at both of them, waiting to hear them ask for their pacifiers.  But they seemed quite content without them.  We kissed Jude & Sloane goodnight and walked out of the room.  (And then back in the room - these toddler beds are not for the faint of heart.)

On the day they were born, I feel like I was given a checklist of their entire life.  It seemed long at first, but I swear I'm checking off another item each day.  Check, check, check.  And I'm not sure I've made it through any of them without tears.  I know I will never be voted Mom of the Year (if there is such a thing I would at least like to be invited to the after party, thank you), and I will never be the one who writes parenting books, but I fiercely love my kiddos and am so very proud of them. 

It feels silly to cry over something we were so determined never to use.  But I think being a parent has changed me in more ways than I will ever understand, and (for the most part) I think it's for the better. 

Two years, two months, and two weeks with pacifiers.  Today began Day 1 without.


Today at naptime...


Nikki said...

They do grow up way too quickly. Every moment is precious!

Aubrey said...

Each and every milestone is heart-wrenching and bittersweet. I honestly don't know how you bear it times two!

P.S. The Binkster. Nick would have been all over it. I suddenly realized (probably for the first time ever) that Nick and Michael are not the same person.

Kaitlin said...

Good job J & S (and parents too)! But now I'm crying...

The Joiners said...

I so could have written this post about Clara... somehow Colby decided he was too cool for pacifiers about a month into being alive! She is pretty attached to her "friends," but I honestly think giving them the boot will be harder on me than her! She lost one of her favorites shortly before the twins turned one and there were lots and lots of tears... from me! Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to get rid of them:)

Jenn said...

When H and B were little I so wished they would have taken to pacifiers, but they never did. They would use them, but never were attached to them. I'm glad we never had to wean them off of them, and give you mad props for doing it. I hope someone got you that cake or Starbucks. Good job mama!

ryeager said...

I have so many questions! I think we are doing this this weekend and I am so scared! These pics totally made me tear up! I hope I get to see you on Thursday so I can pick your brain!

Lauren McDowell said...

I had the same dislike of 'pacis' before my twins were born but grudgingly gave in. I tried to get rid of them at 6 months but my sanity was more important, we finally did it by 13 months. One did fine with the change, the other had about 3-4 weeks of disturbed sleep (possibly combined with being ready to go down to one nap, who knows). But the freedom of being paci-free is the best! Good luck!


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