Hello, my name is Monichichi and I am a paci-holic.
For well over a year, I’ve mulled over how we are going to break Monchichi from her pacifier. Around her 8 month wellness appointment, the doctor told me that was the time to stop using it. Eeeks. If the doctor only knew that two years later, Monchichi is still using it and there are no signs of letting go.
Let me start off by saying that the paci has been a life saver. Monchichi took to it immediately. It single handedly added on a few hours of sleep every night because Monchichi would fall back asleep the minute she had it safely tucked in her mouth. Dozing off for another hour or two… priceless. We ended up putting 4 or 5 pacis in the crib because if she lost one in the middle of the night, all she had to do was reach for another. Voila, asleep!
The paci did more than just put her to sleep. If she was unhappy on an airplane, it kept her quiet, much to our relief and the happiness of passengers. It kept her occupied in the car on long drives, which were numerous as we visited friends and in-laws down in Los Angeles. Bottom line, it soothed her.
Monchichi loved the Paci. We loved the Paci. Yes, capital “P,” Paci.
The Paci love got extreme. It wasn’t enough for Monchichi to simply have a Paci in her mouth, she had to hold one or two of them in her hands as well. She’d cradle them in her fingers while she slept. Geez, Monchichi. Love that Paci, or what?
At the 18 month mark, I knew we had to get this under control, but I wasn’t ready to go cold turkey. We started slow and relegated the Paci use for just the crib and car. Monchichi accepted the new rules surprisingly well. But she also figured a way to get around the rules. You see, we didn’t restrict when she could use the Paci, only where she could use it.
So, any time Monchichi wanted a Paci fix, she’d point to the crib and said she wanted to go in there. We’d plop her in, she’d grab a Paci, put it in her mouth and hold another one in her hand. She’d stay in there for about 5 minutes, quietly sucking away, sometimes sitting up, sometimes lying down. As soon as she was done, she’d say “ok Mommy,” and reach for me to take her out to continue playing. I felt like I was watching a smoker go to her designated smoking area, take a hit, and then go about her business. Two words: Baby. Crack.
At the 2 year mark, we took away the Paci in the car. Now it was only for crib use, hopefully for sleeping purposes only, although we knew full well that she still took Paci breaks. Again, Monchichi reacted well to removing the Paci from the car. Things were looking good.
So, I jumped the gun and decided to test out the waters and took away the Paci for nap time. As soon as I did it, there was a flicker of confusion on Monchichi’s face and upon realization, a look of et tu, Brutus? This was immediately followed by complete and total meltdown of astronomical proportions. Seriously, I have never seen Monchichi so angry. Her little face contorted into a red, angry ball, she balled her fists tightly and screamed at me “I want my Pacis!!” over and over at the top of her lungs. I was pretty freaked out to tell you the truth. Wow, I thought. I can’t wait to see what happens when she’s 13. Because that’s going to be fun.
I ended up giving her Pacis back. This was too much for her and not the way I wanted it to go down. But now what to do?
There are a few suggestions out there besides cold turkey which include (1) cutting the nipple of the Paci down so it’s not satisfying to them so they voluntarily relinquish the paci; (2) wrapping them in a box and “donating” them to a baby; and (3) have Monchichi give them to a Paci-fairy who will take pacis to all the babies in the world who need them and replace the pacis with a gift (a la Tooth Fairy) for Monchichi.
Is there a paci-patch she can put on her arm that would send whatever juice she gets from the Paci? Or how about seeing a hypnotist who could hypnotize her so she no longer craved the Paci? Do they make non-choking paci-gum? A swank Malibu paci-rehab? Is this how Lindsay Lohan got started?
I don’t have the answer right now, nor am I going to venture into those waters for the next couple months; because first, I have to do potty training. Yeah, that other fun milestone.