I’ve lost count how many times I have been asked when my son would stop using his pacifier. I think it started the very moment he was first given one at two months or so. He was admittedly completely dependent on it and if I’m being honest with myself so was I. It was an instant tantrum stopper and made lulling him to sleep a heck of a lot easier, he insisted on having one in every corner of the crib… Talk about OCD!
When he turned three in December I knew it was time for this love affair to come to an end. I think I waited so long because I wanted it to be a conversation, not something traumatic for him. My plan was to wean him off of it slowly, starting with daytime use and eventually into his nighttime routine. In my mind I would make it something fun like, ‘lets plant them and see what grows’ maybe lollipops’? I would be this perfect Montessori mom making every life-event into a beautiful memory.
Needless to say this was not the case. We never even got round to this because he is a master negotiator/manipulator and would literally haggle five minutes of pacifier time every five minutes, which was driving me insane. He also managed to find every conceivable hiding spot I had for them. I really thought I was being quite ingenious with some. I mean, what three year old thinks to look inside a box of pasta for a pacifier?
He was relentless in his efforts and I knew this was not going to be easy. So during one of his ‘I just want five minutes with my pacifier’ tantrums that was taking on epic proportions; I lost my cool and threw them out the window, out our five story window. All five of his prized possessions, his precious. The look on his face will forever be imprinted in my mind and to think I started this endeavor with the best of intentions trying to ease this new big boy transition and I failed miserably.
He was mad at me for several days. He would look out the window longingly and say mommy my poor pacifiers out on the street. But it worked, the finality of it, he knew he couldn’t haggle anymore. He knew he couldn’t find it hidden in some obscure place around the house and so even when he would occasionally ask for it and start to throw a tantrum over it; they didn’t have the same level of fierce stubbornness behind them.
It’s been two weeks now and he doesn’t bring them up at all anymore. I have a big boy now, and yet another story to add to the list of falling oh so short of the kind of mother I wish I was.