May was a big month in the Luckett house. Mike and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. School ended and summer fun began. And, May is when sweet Delaney Bee turned three and time to wean her off her beloved paci.
Miss Delaney Bee
A Gemini to the absolute core, Delaney has always been a bit of a mystery to us. She’s intelligent, emotionally aware, and has a confidence neither Mike or I can quite comprehend. Like all toddlers, her pendulum swings wide, one minute she’s deliciously charming and the next, she’s absolutely (and adorably) livid. No matter what she’s feeling, though, whether it’s rage or rapture, she’s always so sure of herself and walks around her little world like she doesn’t need anything from anybody. Except for her paci.
For nearly three years, she hasn’t gone anywhere without her trusty stable of BIBS pacifiers and her beloved Honey Pacifier Clip. It’s with her in nearly every photo we have of her. It’s come with us on every car ride as long as I can remember. “Pa-chi” was one of her very first words. Now, as her baby cheeks melt away and she’s the ripe old age of three, we’re working on weaning her.
No Big Deal
I didn’t think weaning would be that big of a deal. We’d weaned her from the breast, Shep from the bottle, and ourselves (many moons ago) from American Spirits. I figured it would stink for a few days, but then, everything would be fine.
At first, quarantine seemed like the perfect time to put down the pacifier. We would be home to offer her comfort when she needed it and shower her with praise (which she LOVES) when she was able to go paci-free. Just as we got started, we stopped.
Not So Fast
Work became stressful, the news kept us up at night, our routines were totally out of whack, and our collective reliance on creature comforts was at an all-time high. Quarantine wasn’t the perfect time for pacifier weaning. It wasn’t the perfect time for anything at all.
Plus, and I know this sounds like something from the mind of a woman sheltered in place for too long, I think Delaney Bee knew what we were up to! If I so much as put an eye on her Honey Pacifier Clip, Delaney Bee would wind her little hand so tight around those beads, I couldn’t have gotten to it if I tried. On the rare days when my resolve was strong, and I hid her BIBS away, I’d find her in my workroom tearing into sealed packaging and helping herself to some new accessories.
“One more day” Mike and I would tell ourselves. “We’ll wait just one more day”.
But one more day turned into two weeks. Then, two weeks turned into two months.
Maybe It's Me
The reality is that I’m just as dependent on the pacifier as she is. Just knowing that there’s something I can give her guaranteed to bring calm and comfort in the midst of a crazy time, feels beyond comforting to me. It isn’t her habit, it’s ours, and having her storm around the house searching frantically under pillows as for her lost love is more than my quarantined heart can take.
At this very moment, Miss Delaney is curled up on the couch with her favorite Vanilla BIBS Paci looking peacefully out the window (Have I mentioned she’s the perfect model too? I mean look at these photos! It makes it all even harder!
A New Goal
So, we’re not exactly winning at weaning over here and I’m absolutely torn. Do I wait until all of this passes or am I missing my window? Does she want a sticker chart? A new toy? A bunch of candy? Is it even worth it? Braces can’t be that much money. Can they?
Our hope is to be pacifier-free by July, (or her fourth birthday?), but we’ve got a really long way to go and I need all the advice I can get. What worked for you? How long did it take? How many pieces did your heart break into when they gave you that cute “How could you, Mom?!” face?
Mamas, I’m open to suggestions. Send me all the strength, love, and wisdom that you’ve got. You can also feel free to send wine. 😉