Tonights the night, again. The paci fairy will swoop down while my 2.9 year old sleeps, take the pacifier we left in a bucket and leave a toy. She will fly it to a baby who needs it more than my budding “big kid.” I don’t let him have the pacifier during the day because I like to hear him talk and I think his smile is too cute to hide behind a piece of plastic. But at night, this kid has sucked on a pacifier since the day he came home from the hospital. That thing is like a bat signal that summons him to sleep. The second he sees it he knows it’s time to rest his body. It’s time to get those 12 blissful hours of straight sleep most of us could only dream about in half that time. So why the truck am I doing this? I judge no one that doesn’t feel the same way- we all have different kids and different ways of parenting – but when a Dentist tells me it’s time to go, I set a deadline and kick that sucker to the curb . (Psst: If you ever need extra motivation to take a pacifier away go ahead and google-image “pacifier damage.”)
So tonight was the night. And as I rocked him for an extra long time, rubbing his little back trying to soothe his sobs, I wondered how many times I had been in this chair with him before. As an infant, a tiny little thing swaddled tightly with a pacifier on his lips, his big eyes gazing up at me.
As a 1 year old, cuddled up on my shoulder half asleep with a pacifier in his mouth and his fingers stroking my hair. As a 2 year old, sitting next to me reading books taking the pacifier out to ask a question about a character. And now as an almost 3 year old, mourning over something that’s been in his life forever. Tonight I know his cries will go away. He will wake up proud of himself for not needing the crutch and delighted at the new shiny race car sitting on this very same chair. He might cry again tomorrow night, and maybe even the next. I know this will eventually become a faded memory.
Tonight I will go to bed, pull the covers over my body and sob a little myself. But my tears will be shed for something that has not in my life long enough – his precious and fleeting babyhood.
Read about Paigely’s Pacifier Fairy(Tales), here.