Annie decided that she loved a paci very early on. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it because it meant that I would always have to remember one more thing every time that we left the house. Zoe sucked her finger which was always convenient for me, the absent-minded mother. But now that Zoe’s dentist said that her mouth is all messed up because of her finger sucking, I began to rethink the paci habit. I started to appreciated it more when we were out in public and Annie became fussy – the paci always saved the day. And when Jen P wrote the post about the benefits of your children not sucking their fingers when it come to spreading germs, it made me think that we did the right thing keeping the paci in the mix.
But now she is almost 17 months and we are going to have to conduct an intervention because she is clearly addicted to the pacifier. We were very good parents from about 9 months to 14 months. The pacifier stayed in the crib, when she woke up from her naps we taught her to take her paci out of her mouth herself and drop it in the crib. We would always cheer, “yeah Annie” and she would giggle and be so proud of herself. We were golden!
And then Christmas happened. We had an eight hour drive to Maryland. We were prepared with a DVD player for the car, food and of course the paci. Annie was so happy in the car as long as she had her paci (mistake number 1). Then we got to my sister’s house. She was out of sorts not being in her normal surroundings, so she got to have her paci out of the crib every once in awhile (mistake number 2). Then her older cousins wanted to be helpful, so anytime she sweaked or started to whine, the pacifer was handed to her (mistake number 3). And then the car ride home, another eight hours of paci (repeat of mistake number 1).
So now it is two months after Christmas and we are still trying to deprogram her. She absolutely loves her pacifier. But I don’t want her walking around with it in her mouth all of the time pointing at things that she wants instead of learning how to communicate. We have gone back to making her drop her pacifer in the crib every morning and after naps. But she is much smarter than she was at nine months. Now when she is sleeping she throws paci’s out of her crib (we keep several in there so that if she wakes up in the middle of night, she can easily find another one and not wake us up). But this is all part of her larger plan. There have been times when I have heard her grunting in her room. I come in and she’s caught under her crib trying to retrieve a paci. Other times if she is oddly quiet, I might find her hiding in a corner somewhere in the house with one paci in her mouth and one in her hand. Other times, she will take the second one and hide it under furniture somewhere in the house so that when I catch her with one in her mouth and make her put it back in her crib,she will run into the family room and find her backup stash when I am not looking. She is one smart cookie.
At the end of the day, I think the whole thing is hysterical, but I am trying to keep things from getting too out of control so that when the time comes to take it away from her for good it won’t be too painful for either of us. I guess in the meantime, I should just document all of this for her baby book so that we can laugh about it later!
Any smarty moms out there dealing with same thing?