So. Remember my deepest, darkest, Mommy secret?

And my failed past attempts to take away Ali’s Ring of Mordor?

***Cringing in shame***

Yes, indeed, I have not been brave enough to finally pull the plug, as it were, on my 3 1/2 year old’s halfway-through-the-nap-paci-getting habits.

But fortunately, if I’m not brave enough to deal with it, Ali is.

It all started a week ago.

Ali has a very long-standing tradition of rooting around in my makeup drawers and admiring them all while I get ready. Last Friday, she dug further into a drawer than she’d ever gone before, and randomly found an old paci – one from when she was a baby.

“Mommy! Look at this old paci! It’s dirty and yucky and old!! Can I throw it away?”

“Sure, if you want to.”

(Pause, thinking about throwing in a life lesson…)

“You know, you’re a big girl now…at some point you’re going to have to throw away YOUR paci too.”


(Then an odd excitement arose in her spirit…)

“Okay!!!!! I’ll go get it!!”

She runs away, and I jerk in shock.

Is she really going to throw it away?

And if so, will it end her gift of 3+ hour napping?

Should I let her?

(Of course you should, you idiot! She’s three and a half!!!)

Okay..okay..I can handle this. Breathe…

She runs back in the room.

“I threw them away!! Where can I find MORE pacis to throw away???”

“Now you know since you threw it away, if you wake up in your nap, you won’t be able to get one.”


“So if you wake up and cry, you have to go back to sleep without a paci. Will you do that?”

“I will! I will!”

She’s totally calm about this.

Me? Panicking.

I mean, OBVIOUSLY I want my kid to give up her paci. But I don’t want to have to compromise naptime to get it, or I’ll never work, or blog, or do the dishes, or the laundry…ever, ever, again.

And WAY too many people commented on my paci admission post about their own horror stories of naps dramatically shortening or even (should I type it aloud) ending altogether after the paci went away.

Yes, there was no doubt that the paci in the trashcan hauntingly forbode a tragic ending with me being on Hoarders: Buried Alive because of the ten foot pile of dirty dishes and clothes and unwritten blog posts littering my house.

But I knew deep down that it was time for me to be a big girl. I CAN live without a paci. I am 28 years old, after all.

That day at naptime, I approached with fear and trembling. She woke up twice instead of her traditional one mid-nap-cry, and although it took me a few minutes to get her calmed down without the use of a sucking device, she did, indeed, go back to sleep.

Obviously, I am a horrible wuss of a mother who waited too long to do this.

Good thing Ali is braver than I am.

Sure enough, for the rest of the week, she did great – napping as good as ever, and only mentioning her former friend The Paci a couple of times, but in a past-tense-fond-memory sort of way – “back when I was a baby”.

So, it’s time for me to come to accept it, too: She’s really not a baby anymore.

Good thing I’m having another one, or I might actually get a bit verklempt…

Now pardon me while I go find a box of Kleenex.

15 thoughts on “The End of the Sucking Saga.

  1. I tend to think (now that I'm a mom) that we get just as wrapped up in the "baby" thing as they do. I remember when I started to ween my son from breast feeding… I was a wreck! He on the other hand was fine. When he was 20 months old I put him to bed without the soosie… by accident. I noticed half way through the routine. He didn't say a word about it…. so neither did I! He mentioned it the next day and I told him that all the soosies had to go to the little babies now. He said ok.. and that was it. He's just over 3 now and still naps like a champ. Three cheers for mom's with follow though! It's hard for us too!

  2. I confess that I dug out a couple of Jackson's paci's from the trash just to keep for my own sentimental reasons. He found one not long ago and was amazed that he used to use a paci. It's amazing how quickly they grow up!

    And I'm proud of you!

  3. Yah for you!!! Aubrie is 2 and I am in fear of the day I have to take it away. I am 100% sure she will move out or call child welfare

  4. Haha, that is so funny that she did it without a problem. I love how kids surprise us. :) It's so bittersweet to see them grow up. It seems like from the moment they are born we are training them (and ourselves) to let go. Sad, sweet, and all the inbetween.

  5. Good for you! I hear you about the nap situation. Gotta have naptime. I still make my 6 year old go to her room and rest during naptime so I can have some quiet time myself. :)

  6. Heh – when to ditch the soother isn't something I'm anticipating needing to worry about (Elizabeth took a soother for about two weeks before deciding that mom-as-giant-soother was better).

    But keeping habits, clothes and toys that clearly say "baby"? Elizabeth will probably be a teenager before I let her give those up!

  7. I don't think I will cry when she gives up the paci, but I will cry when she gives up the two hour naps (she turned 3 in March)! However, when the paci falls out while she is sleeping, I find that she grinds her teeth. From a dental point of view I don't know which is worse, paci or teeth grinding?

  8. She truly is no longer a baby. She is a very intellegent, logical, young girl about to be a big sister. I am so proud of you both for giving up the paci.

  9. That is the second time in the past two days I have recognized someone using hte word verklempt…what the heck?

  10. That's great that Ali is still able to take her long naps with the paci!

    Ali is proof that a child will not keep her paci forever, they will let it go when they're ready!

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