Not everyone believes in allowing their babies to suck on pacifiers past a certain age, and neither do we. But for us, that age is FOUR. Used judiciously, there needn’t be any negative side effects. Both my kids’ oral health is fine, especially in the VERBAL department (I don’t know where they get that, ahem).
It can be such a consolation for the whole family to convert that whining, Crying-Out-Loud-From-a-Distressed-Child Noise into a Quiet, Getting-Over-It-Self-Soothing-Child Noise, with the mere application of a cleverly shaped little silicone plug. The only ubiquitous breakdown is, WHERE IS IT? Where did we last have it? Have you seen one anywhere? etc. etc.
Last night was particularly pathetic when she was melting down (becoming sick no less, turns out), couldn’t find one and I was too busy to help her look. “Honey if you want a paci, you have to keep track of it! It’s your problem, not mine!” I know, harsh mommy. And of course her problems ARE my problems. I could just hear her whimpering pathetically in protest (but that she could); “But Mom I don’t have any systems in place by which to track them!” Boo. That’s my baby talking (between the sobs).
So today I stopped by our lovely local hardware store (LOVE that place), and slapped down all of five bucks for an easy-peasy stick-on little rack of HOOKS. Later I told ClaraJane I had a surprise for her, a project we could do together. When the time was right I told her she is a big girl now, old enough to have the responsibility to keep track paci’s HERSELF. (She is three & change.) AND that I would also tie one to her bed, so she could always have one there, if she agrees to keep it there. (She did.) I had her select what color silk cord she wanted (pink, because I didn’t have *blue*), and she kept me company while I weaved it into a leash. She also picked which paci would become “Bed Paci,” and we tied it to her bed (in such a way as to minimize chances of strangulation, of course.)
Then we installed her hooks (in a heretofore secret unused spot in the house), and she “filed” all the rest of her paci’s there. She even rifled through mommy’s drawer to produce my very last *Emergency-Back-Up-Paci* for the final hook which was bare and needed to be filled, according to her 3 year old orderly mind. (How did she know where I kept it? Of course she did. That’s my girl.) I also reminded her, gravely, that paci’s are for only until she is four years old. “Why?” she asked, reasonably. “Because big kids don’t need paci’s,” seemed to be an acceptable explanation.
In the aftermath of the project I got busy organizing one of my sewing drawers, and noticed things had gotten quiet in the environs of her bed. So I gave it a few minutes before investigating, and guess what? BINGO:
I was *going* to start negotiations for nap time next, but she saved me the trouble. Nothing like a kid putting herself down for nap. (And lo, looks like the paci leash is the perfect length.)
Q: Now what to do with the extra time? (Ha!)
1) Write this blog post (of course). Do you want to just take a moment with me to gaze at this scene? Any parent knows there is no better time to admire your children than when they’re asleep. (Chiefly, they’re not about to ASK you for something.) Not to mention this little fairy-cove she sleeps in (when not in our bed). I hadn’t actually realized how beautiful the shadow of her bed-curtain tree is from the inside of her bunk. That’s her name dancing among the flower and butterfly decals on her wall. And the sheets? My own Snoopy Sheets from when I was her age! The real (vintage) deal.
2) Finish organizing the drawer:
3) Give a shout out to my MOM, not only for the foresight of gifting me with a *SEWING MACHINE* when I turned thirty (in spite of my neither WANTING one NOR knowing how to use it), but later also the antique DESK on which to keep it. [Thanks Mom.] Perfect little sewing corner in my bedroom (when it’s not buried in crap):
(That’s a corny sewing machine cozy I sewed once, ergo you can’t see the machine itself.) I aim to do some serious time here in near future, adjusting some costumes and making at least one holiday project; God willing. But I digress.
Now to just find a way of explaining to the cat that the Paci Library is NOT his new personal TOY Library: