Tuesday, June 24, 2008


So last week we took the big leap and got rid of paci. We had talked about it for a few weeks with her and decided that this was the time. I even told Claire that when I was a little girl I had my "Bobbie" (bottle) and I loved my Bobbie so much but one day when I was a big girl I had to say good-bye to my Bobbie just like she was saying good-bye to her paci. I was hoping that with her being 2 1/2 she might not remember giving up her paci the way that I remember being traumatized at 3 1/2 when I had to get rid of my Bobbie. Anyway, we did our normal bedtime routine of bath, books, songs, prayers then she went to bed with just her Bunny - no paci. We kind of held our breath but she did great. She fell asleep and we were so relieved that it had not been as bad as we thought.

The next day nap time rolls around and Claire just laid in her bed and played instead of sleeping. That happens occassionally these days so I figured it was no big deal but was hoping it didn't have anything to do with not having her paci anymore. That night things started slowly going downhill. Let me preface this with the fact that Claire is the best sleeper out there. She happily lays her head where ever we take her and if she is tired she TELLS us she wants to go to bed. She gets a solid 2-3 hour nap and another 10-12 at night. We have come to really appreciate this about her as bedtime is never an issue at our house. Until this week.

In the past week Claire has napped twice for less than an hour each time and has gone to be kicking and screaming each night. She wants us to lay with her, sing with her, take her to the potty, give her water, open the door more, turn the light on, etc, etc. She cries and screams really scared screams. As you can imagine after a week of no naps and not falling asleep until 930 it was beginning to have some effect. She was being very disobedient and just generally difficult. She rarely gets upset when we leave her any where and yesterday she screamed hysterically when she went to school. Her favorite antic this week has been refusing to walk by making her legs limp in public or walking across a street (this is a pet peeve of mine and it absolutely makes my blood boil). I was getting tired of time out and spankings so I know she was! The combination of not having her security object and her exhaustion was just too much. She cried all the way home from school yesterday with her thumb in her mouth.

Yesterday was the breaking point. It had been a week and there was no improvement. We had let her cry it out at night and let her cry all afternoon but it wasn't getting any better. Last night after a loooong day I was getting her ready for bed. We were rocking together and she looked up at me with tears in her eyes, lip quivering and said "Mommy, do you miss your Bobbie?". This caught me off guard because I was surprised that she remembered when I mentioned my Bobbie sometime over a week ago. I told her that when I first had to say goodbye to my Bobbie I missed it but it was OK now. She said "You miss your Bobbie and want it so much". I realized now what she was doing and it just ripped my heart to shreds. Our conversation continued in this code about my Bobbie but eventually we started talking about her paci. It was such a sweet tender moment between us as she shared her broken heart with me.

She went to bed with her paci last night and fell right to sleep. Rhett and I talked about it and decided that she should keep it. We didn't realize how much she was attached to it because it is strictly a bedtime paci. She has taken every other change in her life in complete stride - big bed, new brother, using the potty, any and every occasion that she has to leave us. This is where she has drawn the line. We have decided to be fine with that and respect it. She was trying so hard to do what we wanted her to do but it just broke her and made her so very sad. Up until our little chat she never even mentioned her paci even when I'm sure she wanted it so badly. She just wanted to please us. We are so proud of her for trying so hard to make this adjustment.

I hope it doesn't seem like we have caved to bad behavior because we really think it was more than that. So we will have to budget for orthodontics at some point but we have decided that it is a small price to pay for a happy, well rested little girl who feels safe and secure. At this point we have no plans to get rid of her paci - it can just be our dirty little secret. Perhaps all of these problems will be just "bigger and badder" when she eventually gives it up but we will deal with that when the day comes. The transformation back to normal was pretty quick - straight to sleep last night, darling and obedient today and asleep for naptime now. We created the paci dependence so we will have to deal with the consequences of that dependence at some point - just not at 2 1/2.
Posted by Picasa


allums family said...

too funny... claire upset, kicking and screaming, never!!
where are these curls coming from?!?! i of coarse love them!!!

Shanan said...

I know that it was a really tough decision to get rid of it in the first place and it must have been equally as tough a decision to give it back. Ya'll are amazing parents and following a standard placed by others is not worth your child's happiness. Claire will give it up when she's ready...when you are both ready. What a cherished moment sharing her heart must have been - & it must have torn you up inside. The crying on the way home from school was probably a fit telling you that she did not want to go to bed b/c it's not a safe place without her beloved paci. How did the return of paci go? Was she overjoyed? Thanks for sharing your story and struggles with us!

Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford said...

Thanks girls. It wasn't too hard of a decision to give it back after a week of craziness! HA! As far as the return - I didn't really say anything. I just gave one to her and one to her Bunny and that was the end of that! She didn't really say anything. I think she was afraid that if she acknowledged it I would take it away again! Today I said "Claire - do you have your paci back?" and she said "Yes and I am very very happy". Me too.

Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford said...

Oh and the curls!!! All of a sudden there they were! It's always had a little random curl but with the high humidity they took on a life of their own! I added a little Friz Eaze and voila!

julie said...

That just breaks my heart! She's a very smart little girl who knows her limits. She'll be ready one day, just not quite yet. Love the story!

Abby Maddox said...

I am SO glad you gave it back to her, that was just precious...the way she talked to you about it. Sweet girl! I have never seen a collge student with a paci, so I think it'll be OK.

BTW, you are a great photgrapher and your mountain trip pics are making me long for a vacation.