Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pacifiers are for Babies!

Well, it's official! The pacifiers are outta here! But let me back up a minute. If you know my kids, you know they are attached to two things: their pacis and their blankies. Mason was to the point where he wanted one in his mouth and one in each hand. Owen wanted green pacis, Mason liked orange or blue. Our pediatrician recommended at our 18 month check up that we ditch them by the time they were 2. So, Aaron and I decided to give it a try after the holidays last year. We started weaning them off and only letting them have them at nap, bed, or car time. But that was proving to be pretty tough since the kids would magically find a paci or five laying around somewhere (most likely from Mason's group of 3). We kept pushing off giving it a real hard try knowing their 2nd birthday wasn't until May. Let me qualify this by saying that our doctor strongly encouraged ditching the beloved blankies at the same time. She has seen kids turn to thumb sucking because the blankies remind them of the pacifer. When we went in for the 2 year appointment, Dr. Nguyen was so impressed by their language and knowledge that she wasn't too worried about the pacifiers, so she said "eh, by the time they're 3." And so, we quit worrying about it, hoping we would, some time in the next year, get up the courage to go cold turkey. We knew toddler beds were looming in the distance as well and we didn't want too many changes all at once. It just seemed there was never a good time, not to mention we needed a weekend with NOTHING going on because we figured nobody would be getting any sleep for a while with all the crying. So, status quo we were, 3 pacifiers and all.

Until last Tuesday, that is.

It's no secret that the darn pacifiers make the kids drool. We had been noticing more and more that they really disliked having a soggy shirt and would accept that as a reason to give up their paci for the moment. Last Tuesday was no different. Mason's shirt was soaking wet and I pointed it out to him. He said, "I need a bib!" Mommy said, "No, you need to get rid of your paci!" With that, he took his paci out of his mouth, handed it over to me (Owen followed suit), and said "pacis are for babies." Both he and Owen have said that before but for whatever reason I didn't take the pacifiers in the car to run errands later that evening. And they didn't ask for them OR cry for them. Hmm. Was I on to something? This was, mind you, completely unplanned. At bedtime we decided to see how long we could make it before caving in and giving their pacis to them. There were definitely some tears but only whimpering, not the full out tantrum like I was expecting. Aaron and I knew they'd need a little help so we stayed in their room patting their backs, telling them they were doing a great job, reminding them that they were big boys, and letting them know we understood it was a very hard thing to do. About an hour later they were asleep. Not bad!

The next morning, Mason woke up and announced that he "went ni-night without a paci! Pacis are for babies!! I a big boy!!" while Owen woke up crying and asking for his. Totally the opposite of what I would have predicted, by the way. Luckily that day was a school day and since day one, we have left pacifers at home. Their expectation was already set, and they knew how to nap without one (at school, that is). I think the timing helped me too, because I probably would have caved the next day had they been at home with me. Night #2 was a bit easier but there was still some asking for pacifiers. Simply reminding them that we "gave them to the babies" made it all okay. Morning #2 was almost an exact repeat of the previous morning. By nap time I was feeling good that we might actually be done with pacifiers. I knew from school that they could fall asleep for nap without a pacifier so that's what we did. Night #3: piece of cake. And here we are a week later and they haven't had a pacifier since! I think it is safe to draw a trend by now!

If I would have known it was going to be that easy we would have done it a long time ago! So, for all the moms who think their kids are way too attached to give up a pacifier, think again. You just never know. Oh yes, we are still using the blankies and there has been no thumb sucking.

I have to admit, we did get a bit ambitious after this. We were so surprised at how easily they adapted that we thought we'd give potty training a "real" try. I expected them to watch this little movie (that is supposed to be guaranteed) and viola! Not so. Let me just put it this way: after about 45 minutes of wearing only underwear, I decided I was just fine with diapers! Every 30 seconds someone else was peeing through the undies onto the floor. Owen thought it was cool to wet his undies so he could get another cool pair. So, now we are formulating a new plan of action and the "real" try is coming again soon. Upon the suggestion from a friend, we are going to try starting off with some "cool" undies and if they wet them, they have to wear plain white ones. Maybe this will discourage Owen from wanting to wet the ones he's got on. That would be nice.

speaking of potty training...

Today at school, Owen told the teacher he had poo poo! She checked his diaper and told him he was clean. He told her "no, in my bottom." This is the first time either of them have given us warning. We have been talking about telling us before we go in our diaper and today it paid off. I think he had his "ah-ha moment" on what it must feel like to have to go potty. I am crossing my fingers that we have turned a corner in this daunting adventure!