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Monday, November 19, 2012

A Pacifier & a Pair of Shoes


I’ve had so many clever titles for “the last pacifier” blog post . . . “So long, farewell“ . . . “It is finished!” . . . “Another one bites the dust” . . . But, the title above says it best. After approximately two years, eight months & three days, our little girl gave-up her dearest companion - a pink silicon pacifier – for a pair of sparkly, light-up shoes. If you’re female, I’m sure you agree it’s a brilliant trade. Alexa thought so as well when we began talking to her about giving up her last, beloved paci for “light” shoes (that is, until she fully realized what that meant).

I knew the inevitable end was near when I heard her paci squeaking (that means she bit through it). We had informed her this would be her last paci and if she bit through it, we’d have to throw it away. She knew that, and we had to stay true to our word (as much as I really didn’t want to). So . . . as with all parents placed in this situation, we begin to think about how this transition could be easier, how it could be rewarded as a rite of passage and not just a long-standing luxury denied.

Light bulb! The perfect incentive – light-up sneakers. This girl has been wanting a pair for several months. I personally think they are a bit tacky and most of them are ugly. However, it was my leverage and it made me feel less guilty about forcing her to give-up the one thing that has provided her immediate comfort for over two years. You’ve got to understand – this pink paci calms her, soothes her, beckons her to sleep, encourages self-control when nothing else can & even entertains her. This paci has rescued us through several flights, road trips, restaurant & errand outings. It has provided 12+ hour nights of sleep, 2+ hour naps and has been a soothing substitute when Mommy wasn’t around. We deeply love & appreciate the pink paci!! 

But . . . the day had come (last Friday, that is). The pink paci had officially become a choking hazard and it wasn’t worth the ulcer I had every night worrying about the paci’s tip getting lodged in Alexa’s throat. So, I called Stride Rite and found out what light-up shoes (without princess characters) they had in stock in her size. One pair of pink mary janes.“Good enough for now,” I thought to myself. I prepped Alexa this was the day. For the most part, she was elated. For the most part, she understood the trade-off. Light-up shoes on . . . paci trashy.


I have to say, as much as I dreaded weaning Lil’ A from the paci, the transition has been surprisingly seamless (a far cry from the trials of potty training). She was quite sad the first night, but we knew with all things thus far in parenting, the crying/sadness wouldn’t last forever. I’ve had to sleep with her on the floor to act as a human paci a few nights. Of course, she struggles going to sleep but . . . she does. And, when she wakes-up each morning, she stands up in her bed and proudly says, “Mama, I sleep without my paci!! Can I wear my light shoes now?” She puts them on proudly and rarely takes them off. I even coordinated her church clothes to accommodate the light-up kicks.

It’s a big day, my friends. And yes, we’ve ordered a purple pair of sneakers when she grows out of these. We think she deserves it (and they were on sale). Little did we know these three blinking lights could encourage such a big step & so quickly. It’s just one of the many blessings we will count this Thanksgiving.


1 comment:

  1. Yay Alexa (and you guys)!! I know this was certainly a burden off my shoulders when we transitioned E off her paci because I was dreading it SO much! I'm so glad it went better than you were expecting, and what a blessing that she really liked the shoes. :) E still has days (very, very rarely), where she'll randomly say, "I want my bah." I'll remind her it was "broken" and she accepts it and moves on. I must admit I still miss it at times when she is whining or not wanting to go to the nursery, but I mainly love it.