Today we said goodbye forever to a trusted friend. This friend helped us weather many storms, gave us hope when things seemed hopeless, and afforded us many relaxing evenings of peace and quiet. I’m speaking, of course, of Sawyer’s pacifier.
Sawyer’s (and my) paci addiction began at his birth. He has never–I repeat, never–slept a night without it. Many months of his life I got up to put the paci back in when it fell out at night. I never even rocked this kid–the concept is foreign to him. Who needs rocking when you have a perfectly good piece of silicone to suck on? We were both in heaven.
And, when we were out somewhere and I DIDN’T need a screaming child tagging along, no worries! All I had to do was make sure his paci was in his mouth. And another was attached to his shirt. And two more were in the diaper bag.
After awhile, the allure of the paci wears off, though. Like when he’s old enough to do simple algebraic equations and he’s still sporting the Elmo paci. I started Phase I of “Operation Kill Paci” a month or so ago. Last night I decided it was time to finish off our little friend once and for all.
So, I started last night telling Sawyer that “Big Boy Day” starts bringht and early tomorrow! I told him we were going to send his pacis to the new little babies who really need them, since he is a big boy and doesn’t need his anymore. His reply? “I not a big boy!” Not exactly the response I was looking for.
So, first thing this morning I started talking about Big Boy Day, and he was ready. He was pumped up. I could tell he had been getting himself psyched up all night long. Or maybe it was that mention of a Big Boy Present that I had in mind for today. Whatever the case, he was ready.
So I addressed an envelope to my parents (“God’s Helpers”) and marked it EXTRA SPECIAL DELIVERY: SAWYER’S OLD PACIS FOR NEW BABIES. So, it wasn’t the most creative wording, but it worked. Sawyer dropped his pacis inside and watched me seal it up. No tears, no drama. I felt like he was letting me off easy. (Like in pretty much everything a mother does, there is a certain amount of guilt associated with the thought that you have let your baby keep the paci for too long. After all, the books say yank it out of his mouth and toss it at twelve months! Am I giving him another “mother” topic for his future therapy sessions?)
During the ride to the post office, he repeated over and over, “I don’t need pacis! I big boy! New babies need my pacis!” and I was cheering him on like my life depended on it. We got to the post office and he dropped the envelope in the slot. No big deal. I snapped his picture, gave him a high five, and told him how proud I am.
Right outside the door, he looked up at me and said, “I got more pacis at home.” Uh oh. This is where two year old logic fails a little guy. I don’t think he quite believed that we were actually sending ALL of his pacis away.
So, as I write this he is struggling to fall asleep without his trusted companion. My motherly instinct says I should rush down to the nearest store and buy all the pacis they have, and if his high school teachers have a problem with him bringing a paci to class, that’s just their problem. But, I know that what’s best for him is to let him work through it, despite the fact that my heart is breaking for him. Another milestone gone. Another sign my baby is growing up.
Now, if his high school teachers try to protest when he brings his stuffed Mickey Mouse to class, that really IS their problem!