Monday, November 19, 2007

Kicking the habit

If you keep up with "The View," on ABC, you would have noticed that Whoopi is trying to kick her smoking habit. Well, we're trying to kick a habit around our house, too - our daughter's addiction to her pacifier. We are into day three, and I think I'm having nicotine withdrawl.

Up until now, that pacifier has been our saving grace. So many ugly situations have turned around thanks to the magical comfort it brings her. In fact, thanks to her "paci," she has put herself to sleep since she was three months old. She refused to be rocked to sleep or cuddled. Nope - that independent little lady simply wanted her "blankie and paci."

Our pediatrician gave us the nod at 18 months that we should toss them. However, it was just about then that her little brother was born. We thought that becoming a big sister was trauma enough for the time being, and my husband and I decided to wait until her second birthday to work on breaking the habit.

It is times like these I wonder why didn't God call and tell me how to handle this. Can't he see that I'm mismanaging so many other things in her life? Doesn't he want to step in just this once so at least she'll have a chance at turning out alright?

So when the birthday dust finally settled, we decided it was game time. Somewhere - in that stack of motherly wisdom beside my bed - I read that you should try this "three day" method. Over the course of three days, you are to prepare you toddler to give up the pacifier. You begin with, "In three days, your pacifier is going bye-bye." (I think you can figure it out from here.) The idea is that by the last day, the toddler will have taken ownership in the idea.

She no more took ownership in that idea than when we tell her, "It's lunch time," or "It's sunny outside today." She had absolutely no idea that we were about to rob her of her primary source of comfort. If she had known, she would have packed her elephant bag and headed for grandma's house three days ago.

At the present moment - night three with no pacifier - she is asleep. I had a meeting this evening which relieved me of bedtime duty. (I think I nearly skipped out the front door this evening.) The rath of daddy scared her to sleep. She and I will battle tomorrow for her daily nap. As for me, I'm stepping outside for a smoke!

1 comment:

Adrian said...

It's probably too late now, but I have a brilliant solution for getting rid of a pacifier. My son was addicted to his - just wanted it every minute of the day, so when I got fed up enough, I just tied it around the neck of the biggest, bulkiest stuffed animal I could find (obviously you want a very short string for safety). Then I just waited for him to get tired of lugging the darn thing around!

After about a week, he was just using it at naptime, which was fine with me, then after a while, I started putting the stuffed animal away in the closet and he gradually forgot about it. No tears, no trauma! Of course, that was 16 or so years ago, but he is still reliably pacifier free!