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Pacifier Fairy(Tales)

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Giving up a night-time sleep crutch can really suck. (Get it? Pacifier? Suck?) No one likes taking a child’s comfort away, it’s never fun. Miss P.’s pacifier signaled pass-out time in the crib. She is an energetic little bitty so when that thing went in her mouth it was like we gave her a tranquilizer shot. Her body went all wiggly and her face got all soft. It was a blessing for a long time for us. But then two things occurred. The first thing that happened was that I insisted on taking her to the dentist. Did anyone tell me I should do this? Absolutely not. But I wanted to check it off the Tortuous Things To Do With Your Toddler Before They Turn Three list. The dentist recommended the paci exit stage left by April to avoid teeth damage. I kind of like to succeed at things Doctors and Dentists tell me to do. I figure they know a thing or two about the field they had to study for 95 years before getting certified.
The next event that kept happening was Miss P. waking in the middle of the night calling us into her room to help her look for the paci. I don’t know if she suddenly got lazy and didn’t want to look for it or her eyesight was getting worse. Either way we were up in the middle of the night every night for a week. I thought if I’m up ANYWAY I might as well just get rid of the damn thing.
After much internet research that scared the crap out of me, I decided the “Give it to a baby who needs it” wasn’t going to work because we had a real live baby living in our house. So I chose to go with the Pacifier Fairy. And I got outsmarted by my toddler, twice. The first time I explained about the fairy I asked Miss P. what she would like in return. She told me she wanted another paci. (Gotta hand it to her.) I ignored her and dropped the issue for a couple of days. The second time I mentioned it she announced it would be fine if said fairy came but then we’d go red-shopping-time (Target) and purchase a new one. (Brilliant.)
I dropped the issue a second time and realized I had to go back in with bigger balls. I took her to Buy Buy Baby a week later and said she could pick out anything she wanted in the store. I would then tell the Pacifier Fairy. This Fairy was now sounding creepy even to me. Who was this tiny freak that flew around and stole shit from a toddler’s bed?
Thrilled at the sound of free reign, she picked out a Bubble Guppy guitar. Really glad she skimmed over the $499 Ride-On car. (“What would you had done if she shot him in the head? It was a chance we were willing to take people.” – Dumb & Dumber). That night I brought a special bowl up for her to put her pacifier in and left it on her nightstand. She put it in the bowl and I put her in her crib. And that lasted about 30 whole seconds. So I gave it back to her and said she wouldn’t be getting the guitar. I felt like a real shit-head at this point. The next day she was at school and I decided I needed to dispose of the thing while she was gone. There was no way she could deal with it being in the house and not having it. So I took all of her pacifier’s, shed a tear, and cut the thing to shreds. Then I threw them outside in the dirty snow. (I’m SORRY environmentalists!) I knew I had to do that or else I’d cave and rummage through the trash. I went to iParty, bought Dora and Mickey helium balloons and filled her room with them. I placed the guitar in her crib with a note from the fairy. I even sprinkled “dust” on the stairs which was a particularly huge gesture on my part since I can’t STAND glitter.
Driving her home from school that day I had a huge knot in my stomach. I babied her all through dinner and smothered her with kisses. I waited for Hubby to get home and we did the death march up the stairs together. She had no idea what as going on until she spied balloons. (damn it could have done without the glitter!) We got to the room and she was ecstatic. When I read her the note and I made it clear to her that the paci fairy only takes paci’s away. I didn’t want her to think this fairy could come at any time and take anything away.
That night she laid in her bed quietly for 45 minutes and then started crying for her paci. I went upstairs and cried with her. I told her it was okay to be sad and that we believed in her. It took her another hour to fall asleep, mostly sobbing the saddest sobs I’ve ever heard. It broke my heart in a million pieces. I drank two glasses of wine and made Hubby tell me we were doing the right thing. That night she called out three times asking for it but I rubbed her back and said we just didn’t have it anymore. That morning she woke up, jumped up and down and yelled “MOMMY! I didn’t need my pacifier to sleep!!!!!” My heart slowly mended back together. The fact that she was proud of herself, it made the next couple painful nights worth it. Now I like to think I gave her the gift of confidence throughout this ordeal. The pacifier had to go away and so I ripped the band-aid off. It was painful while it was happening. But now it’s just a very distant, faded memory…

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