When you don’t have children, it’s easy to be a “drive-by parent”.
My husband & I have 12 amazing nieces and nephews and it was fun to sit back and say; “we will never_____” – you can fill in the blank. We said it all. This parenting thing is going to be so EASY! Well – 2 years into our parenthood journey and at times it seems impossible to be rational when your child is hurting. You do crazy things that don’t make sense, like give your child a cookie at 8am. Or reading 5 books when you said only 2.
As a parent there are times that your children are hurting and you would do anything to take the pain away. We had this very moment last weekend. Bear was turning two. We had been talking about how it was time to get rid of the pacifiers; Bear has so fondly called her pacifier “boppy” since she was able to talk. Now the “boppy” has been a wonderful thing in our life. Bedtime has always been a dream, Bear religiously takes a 2 hour nap every day (she just recently gave up her 2nd nap) and a nighttime of sleep is usually a minimum of 12 hours. Our girl is a dream sleeper!!
So we began researching; how do you break your 2 year old of her addiction to the “boppy”? I loved the rationalizing I found; my child only has her pacifier in bed, at 3 years old children can reason – wait until then, they will break themselves of it, and more. Let me tell you how great all of this sounded. But my husband and I had decided – 2 years old was long enough, it was time to break this little girl of her addiction. (and that is exactly what it had become, an addiction)
There were so many great techniques for breaking the binky out there:
- Leave the pacifiers out with the cookies for Santa (in exchange for toys)
- Tie the pacifiers to helium balloons and send them to Heaven
- Exchange your pacifiers for a bicycle
- And my favorite was- tell your child the binky ran off to Taco Bell
We liked the bike idea. So we began talking it up.
“Bear, you know “boppies” are for babies and bicycles are for big girls, right? Wouldn’t you love a bike? What color bike would you like? Do you want a big one or a little one?” We made such a big deal about this infamous bike. Her grandparents were calling her asking about the bike. Bear started to buy into it. We were getting excited…
THE DAY of the big exchange.
We went to Target – it was a family affair. We found the red bike, and we bought all the garb; the helmet, knee pads, basket for the front and bell. She loved it. We came home and while her father was assembling the bike, Bear gathered all of her “boppies”. Just like a big girl she threw them in the garbage. All was GREAT…until that first nap without the “boppies”. It was a disaster! We couldn’t cave on our plan – but I wanted so badly to take the hurt away from this little girl. She had a broken heart and truly didn’t know what to do with herself.
The next couple of naps & bedtimes were like we had a newborn again. But for those of you breaking your children from the pacifier…have faith, within a couple of days it passes.
So those times when you know what’s best, but your child is hurting – just have faith that “this too shall pass”. And to all of the “drive-by parents out there”…never say never.