Pacifying the Paci

It’s weird watching a real human walk around with a pacifier stuck in her mouth. What is this house? A rave?

It was one thing when my daughter was being swaddled and held and coddled by us and needed that pacifier to calm down and not cry. But, now … it just seems off to me to have a walking, talking little human say things like “My paci!” and then plop this little plastic thing into her mouth and cruise the hallways.

All day long she goes without it at day care, but the moment my wife or I get into the car, the calls for paci’s come quickly. And, to actually perform the duty of what it’s called, we pacify her by allowing her to have it.

We’ve tried to ease it out of her life the best that we can, telling her it’s “icky” and cutting a hole in one of them to prevent that suckling action. When my daughter speaks with the pacifier in her mouth, it’s like trying to understand a drunk, so we ask her to remove it from her craw. She’ll then pull it out, say her piece, then put it back in. Almost like Groucho Marx with a cigar.

This is kind of difficult for a kid who spends 99 percent of her waking hours talking. Seriously, she starts babbling even before she’s awake, taking sleep talking to a whole new level. Except that her sleep talking is just doing a roster check of people she’s recently interacted with: Mommy, Daddy, Milo, Roxy, Isabella, Grammie, Papa and so on and so forth.

My daughter.
My daughter.

My wife and I are more “cold turkey” types when it comes to doing things. Diets. Exercise. Whatever. We can turn it on and off pretty easily when it comes to making some decisions. With that in mind, we might not be the most patient when it comes to weaning our kid off something.

We’ve tried to curb the pacifier situation but maybe took the wrong approach one night when putting our kid to bed.

After putting her into the crib, she whimpered and whined a little. No big deal, we thought, just some fussing. Then, little cries. Then sobbing.

We should let her cry it out, I suggested, knowing we had tried that method before in getting her to sleep through the night with good results. A minute turned to five, five minutes turned to seven.

The crying only got louder.

I walked into her room, pacifier in hand and there was my daughter standing up, hands on the edge of her crib, screaming.

“My Paci! My Paci!”

And in that moment she had turned into Gollum. Her paci was her Precious.

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