Wednesday, July 17, 2013

For the love (and letting go) of the pacifier: Part 3

Other than my typing, the only sound I hear right now is my dog snoring.

Um...So what???

So this: My son is silent...asleep...without a a big boy.

So...I will bask in the joy of this milestone a few moments longer. It is absolutely in my nature to spend time and energy thinking, praying, worrying, earnestly praying, planning, fretting, remembering to pray again (you get the idea), but then when the problem is solved, the result is good, the prayer is answered like I had hoped...I say a quick "thanks" or an excited "yes!!!" and move on to fret about the next thing. SO in my nature.

No, I need to spend as much time enjoying the moment as I do planning for it and as much energy saying thank you as I do making requests. (Inhale...Exhale...)

When I last posted, I was anticipating a second try at laying him down for a nap without Daddy and without a pacifier (the first try was a disaster). Anticipating may be too kind a word (see above list...planning, fretting, remembering to pray again). I was playing it out in my mind all morning, and I wasn't feeling it. His urge to get sympathy from me is so strong right now that though he had gone down great for Daddy, Aunt Andrea and then Daddy and me together, I just had the feeling he was going to try to pull something. What incentive did he have not to?

But I had an ace up my sleeve. I decided if it was going to work, I had to use it preemptively -- I couldn't wait to see if he would be fine without it. Now, it wasn't a completely foolproof plan because it involved some delayed gratification, which is very tricky at this age. However, I knew this particular incentive was huge for him, so I thought I would give it a try.

He had been asking to go to his friend Madeleine's house for several days. Gavin knows Madeleine from church. She is a very mature and sweet 7. She apparently has that "it" factor for toddler and preschool boys. I think it has something to do with the fact that she pays attention to them and talks to them and (at our most recent play date) develops lesson plans for them compete with games and hands-on activities. Are you getting the picture here? According to her mom, she doesn't mind that the toddlers follow her around and hang on her every word (read: she likes it). She plays great with Gavin, so I like it, too.

Though he didn't know when, he knew we were going to her house soon. So at lunch, I pulled out the calendar and drew a heart on Thursday (today is Tuesday) and told him that we were going to Madeleine's house in a couple days, but first he had to lie down and take a nap like a big boy with no crying. I showed him how many days away it was, and I was clear that we were not going when he woke up -- we would go in two days. But first he had to lay down like a big boy. He seemed convinced immediately, and I could tell it wasn't one of those I'll-placate-Mommy-now-but-I-am-already-making-plans-to-rebel moments. I think he really intended to do it.

Of course, intending and doing are two entirely different things. When I was laying him down, he did start to insist on a pacifier and feign apathy about Madeleine's house, but I very quickly reminded him of our plan, repositioned him, said I loved him and walked out. No tears. Woohoo!!!

It took him forever to fall asleep! But no tears. Some of my friends who had been praying were texting and emailing with me while I waited, and of course, I was sending updates to Josh. When Gavin finally got quiet and fell asleep -- I am not going to lie -- a few happy tears escaped my eyes.

He's been doing great ever since (a whole one day, but I'm optimistic). We are still dealing with cranky mornings, but once we start breakfast, he's usually good. I hope we get back to morning cuddles and smiles soon.

Thanks for coming along with us on this journey to a life without paci. Not that I don't love you and everything, but I think you'll understand when I say -- I'm glad it was a short one.

Other posts in this series: Part 1 and Part 2


  1. Good job, Gavin!! And good job, Valerie! :)

    1. Thanks, Lauren! You're so sweet to take the time to say so!

  2. Also, I meant to say that (until today...) he has been sleeping 30 minutes longer in the morning without his pacifier, bringing us to a glorious 7:05. I will absolutely take it!