The Death of a Paci

Posted on | March 1, 2013 | 7 Comments

So if you read my post on the half-marathon, you may remember a small bit about … dun dun dun… J’s pacifier.   My son has had a pacifier since he was born… every night, most days, almost constantly until about five or six months ago when it became an “only when you’re sick or in bed” kind of thing.  I kept meaning to take it away, to transition him away from it, but it was so difficult.

And I’m so lazy.

It’s a lot easier to let him keep the pacifier than to actively play a role in the growing up of my child; pacifiers are adorable, pacifiers are for babies, MY SON IS A BABY.  Or at least, that’s what I kept telling myself.  “He’s only three.” And then “he’s just three and a half” and suddenly I saw myself ordering adult-sized pacifiers for my son who was about to go to college… AND I WAS OKAY WITH THAT.  (I have issues, whatever.)  Basically, I couldn’t bring myself to break his heart… that’s what it boiled down to.  The first time we tried to abandon the “paci” he cried for two hours and begged me for one, telling me that he needed it to go to sleep.  After two hours of staying firm, I caved… because who can watch their child sob his eyes out, knowing you could fix it so easily?? Not me.

Cut to our trip to Disney.

It was the night before my race and I handed J off to my parents with a kid-sized backpack full of everything I thought he’d need for the night.  By 5:00, I was in my pajamas and tucked in bed, watching the end of a basketball game and hoping that sleep would come quickly as I had to be up at 2:00 in the morning.  I fell asleep somewhere around 7:15 or 7:30 and woke with a start at approximately 10:45. I laid in bed, tossed and turned, and wondered if I’d just woken up for no reason or perhaps for nerves.  Then my mind wandered to J and I wondered if he’d made it to sleep and if he was okay without me.  Something caught my eye from the side of the bed beside me and I sat up in complete panic.

J’s paci glows in the dark.

J’s paci was on the bed, just under the pillow next to me.

It was 11:00 at night, a good three hours after he should have been asleep and I wondered why my mother hadn’t come to get it from me.  I got up in a daze, grabbed my room key and the pacifier, and ran barefoot down the outdoor corridor to my parents’ room.  I knocked once, no answer. I knocked again, shifting my weight guiltily from one foot to the other.

Finally my dad swung open the door and stared at me.

“Paci. I forgot. So sorry. So so sorry.”

“He didn’t need it,” my dad shrugged and started to close the door.  I shoved my paci-clutching fist into the room and deposited it in his hand.

“HE MIGHT NEED IT,” I stage-whispered.

My dad took the pacifier and nodded, closed the door, and I went back to my room, congratulating myself on saving them and J from tomorrow morning’s heartache.

That was Saturday night.

Although he still asks at least once a night for his pacifier, J has not slept with one since that night.  We jokingly told him that Mickey Mouse must have taken it from him at Disney World and though he responds with “but I didn’t have it in my pocket!” he’s never really needed it again.

I guess I still wanted to believe that my son is a baby and that he needed all of his baby things.  I wanted to believe that he needed his pacifier because I needed him to still have it, needed him to still need something soothing to fall asleep with.  But the truth is, apparently I needed it more than he did.  Apparently, I was the facilitator of his need for that and when I was removed from the picture, he fell asleep quite easily without it.

I guess raising kids is like that, isn’t it?

Sometimes the person who really needs help letting go… is me.

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  • http://twitter.com/KirstenPiccini Kirsten Piccini

    oh I LOVED this.

    It took me going to BlogHer last summer (the boys were 4 1/2) for my husband to take exactly 3 hours to get both kids (even JACOB!!! ) off the Nuk. I couldn’t believe it, but he’d done it . You’re right, I had so many issues of my own with not wanting to take it away because of the SCREAMING, THE CRYING, THE GUILT and there was none when I wasn’t there..

    Plus I love the look of your blog, it’s wonderful!

    • Law Momma

      Isn’t it funny? I NEVER would have thought that I was in any way holding J back from giving up the pacifier!!! Makes me wonder what other things I’ll accidentally do… ;)

      And thanks on the blog look! Much appreciated. :) I owe it all to the talents of others.

  • Delia

    Congrats to both of you! We took the paci away from DS in December and it was nerve-wracking! We were so afraid of a long screaming fit filled night, but he did great. Keep it up!

    • http://twitter.com/lawmomma77 Law Momma

      They’re amazingly versatile, right? Who knew… :)

  • Lola M.

    Sometimes it takes a little help from family … to make those transitions! Love how your parents handled it. :-)

    • http://twitter.com/lawmomma77 Law Momma

      My parents thought I did it on purpose. LOL!

  • Type A’s Nightmare

    I laughed that you said you were lazy with the paci issue. I was terrified that I was destroying her teeth so we let it go at 18 months and it hurt my soul. Even just last night (almost 8 months later) I wanted to give her a paci. They’re so super cute, but I hated them the whole time she had them because they’re so germy. BUT… the lazy thing? I feel that way about potty training. I feel like she would get it so quickly if I would just commit and yet I can’t. I’m just not ready because diapers are so much easier… not every day, not constantly buying them and changing them, but in the car and in a store, etc. Yep. Cringing now…. But great job, Mom!

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.



  • I'm a divorced, single mom to a pre-schooler, a full-time attorney, and a semi-reluctant vegetarian. I work hard and when given the chance, I play hard... but I'm almost never given the chance.

    It's possible that I never outgrew 7th grade mentality, as I still laugh when anyone says anything that can be remotely construed as sexual. Let's face it, if you're not down with "That's what s/he said" at the end of almost any sentence, we're probably not going to get along all that well.

    I drink more than I should, I run more than I should, and I laugh as much as I can. So I'm pretty much winning at life.

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