Wednesday, October 6, 2010

no more paci

Doesn't she look so big?

Well after a year and a half of debating when to take Ava's paci we finally took it a few weeks ago (long past the "I'll never have a child with a paci this long" mark. : ) ). Every time I'd go to move forward with taking it, someone would (easily) talk me out of it with a "rational" argument.

"If she's still napping and it's your quiet time, don't mess with it." "She doesn't use it during the day, it's not a big deal." "She's only 2 . . .she's not going to still have it when she's 10." And I quite happily went along with it.

However our little girl was getting bigger, the battle about putting it away after bed becoming more frequent and Ryan and I were done dealing with it. We kept it through the summer because of this mom's anxieties how Ava would be camping (don't you love the issues we create) and the time had come.

We had debated trying several of the different strategies friends and family had used. The "paci fairy" or sending paci's in the mail to a cousin or family friend's baby or just cutting it and letting nature take it's course.

But as we broached the topic with Ava we realized pretty quickly they weren't going to work. She's pretty practical. So the paci fairy started just seeming like salt in the wound. She adamantly refused the idea that her paci could be mailed to a baby because "they use baby paci's." And cutting it? Well, you just go buy more at the store, didn't you know?

We decided we were just going to live in reality. She was a big girl. Big girls don't need paci's and it was time to say goodbye. And I had told her it was her last night with it;which she handled pretty well although she was sad about it (interestingly enough, I noticed a big change from 2 1/2 to 3 in her ability to process us talking about being done with it).

We had plans to take it a thursday evening and let her use it in her quiet time (detect a theme here . . .mom likes her quiet time).

It all changed as Ava came downstairs that afternoon. We went to go put it away and I realized that she would never have it again with "no warning." She's ask for it that night, be told it was gone, and I saw a big battle ensuing.

So I knelt down by Ava and told her it was time to say good-bye to her paci because we were all done with it now.

Oh the tears.

Ava immediately started crying.

I started second-guessing. I frantically tried a new approach that we could mail her paci to "baby Paisley," a friend's baby that she adores.

Ava wasn't buying it. "Noooo. Baby Paisley has a baby paci. I don't want to give my big girl paci to her."

I realized once again that reality was best.

So instead I just let my little girl grieve. And grieve she did. I held her as she cried and may have shed a few tears myself.

After a little bit, I knew we needed to face reality a little further. So I laid her on the couch, got out a special snack and said she could watch a movie and have a special snack after she put her paci away. I gave her the option that I could put it away or she could. Ava quickly decided she wanted to do it. But the tears continued.

I walked out of the room to just give her some space. And then I heard it.

Whispers coming from the other room.

As Ava cried and held her Care Bear she was whispering, "I have to say good-bye to my paci Care Bear. I'm so sad. It's not fair. I'm so sad . . . ."

My mommy heart about broke. But at the same time? I was kind of proud of her for dealing with the reality of it in a healthy way (I know, I sound way too much like a psychology major).

After a little more of that, I went back in the room and told Ava it was time. She picked the place she wanted to put her paci and miraculously? . . .2 minutes later the tears were stopped and she was happily watching Strawberry Shortcake and eating her snack.

I kind of began to hope that was it.

But it wasn't. : )

That night the tears came again. But it wasn't the battle I had anticipated while thinking about it all these past months. They were just grieving tears again. She was more clingy and wanting us near. So we laid beside her and she fell asleep fairly quickly.

That next morning I knew I was in trouble when my first sign she was up was the stair gate clanging shut and the pounding of her feet running to the spot she had put her paci in the day before. I had thrown it away and sure enough, the tears came anew. Yet 5 painful minutes later she had moved on.

Each night got better and she needed us a little less. After 3 days, it was hardly an issue. Our routine became that she'd sadly tell me she wanted her paci and then asked me to pray. We'd ask Jesus to help her not be so sad and not to miss her paci and ask Him to keep her safe as she slept. It actually became a sweet routine that I've missed when she hasn't asked the past couple of nights.

Only a mom would write a post with every detail of the whole saga. But I've been proud of my little girl. It's fun to see her proudly tell family she doesn't have a paci anymore.

And truth be told?

This mommy is quite happy to be done with it too. : )


Sarah said...

This made me cry!! Oh my, that is so sad! Poor Ava...and Amber!

Do you know what kind of pressure this puts on me, Amber? :) I have 3 more months until Emitt turns 3! Ahhh! I don't think I can do it...I don't think he can do it. He takes a 3 hour nap everyday and sleeps about 12 hours at night. I KNOW it's the paci. What am I going to do???

Thanks for the play-by-play. LOVED how "practical" Ava was about the whole thing :)

Amber said...

Oh Sarah,

I already feel bad for you because I KNOW what that cycle going on in your head is like. : )

Here's some encouraging news. It wasn't anywhere near what I made it out to be in my head.

And bonus? Ava's sleep hasn't changed. The first night she was up an extra two hours and a little later the next night, but it really hasn't changed anything.

That said, I also just got rid of her nap. So I was at a little different of a point than you. She was just staying up later and later and I got to the point that I wanted our evenings back more than I wanted a 3 hour quiet afternoon. She still does quiet time but not as long. But she still sleeps a solid 12 hours at night and has an occasional nap if we've been going too crazy.

But otto is still little - so give yourself a little grace. Like people told me, if your schedule right now is working and it's not a huge deal for the paci to stay a little longer, don't make it a big deal. If Emitt is 6 and starts showing up at Gramm House with his paci, I'll worry a little. but that gives you a little bit of time. : )

Sarah said...

awww, thanks :)

mom Bahr said...

Inspite of the challenge Ava went through, she does feel very proud of not having a paci and enjoys the 'big girl' status she has won - now she is just like Addy and Brynne!!
One lesson I learned is that when we worry about our children's struggles, often it is harder on moms than on are much more resilent and flexible than we realize - and never underestimate how God can help us (and our children) through whatever the challenge is! (That even happens when they are married!! :) love forever, mom
ps Great job Amber and Ava!!!!