Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Intervention

This week we have an intervention taking place in our household.

A pacifier intervention.

Levi loves his pacifiers.  Yes, plural: pacifiers.  You think just one would be enough to pacify him…but no, he needs two.

Usually when getting ready for bed and reading his night-time stories, he would just have one in his mouth and one in his hand and would go to sleep in that same fashion.

However, occasionally I have caught him doubling up.  I first noticed it back one February morning when I went to get him out of his crib.  I witnessed him literally stick both pacifiers in his mouth and suck on them, or attempt to at least.

I thought that it was just a one-time deal, but then in August he did it again.  Although, I think this time he was just doing it for attention.

I had every intention of breaking Levi of his pacifier habit by 18 months.  I had Charlie off of the pacifier by that time, so surely I could manage to do the same with Levi.

Since Levi doesn't turn 20 months for another week, I haven’t totally blown through my self-imposed deadline.  However, I did have to provide some extensions as illness, sleep deprivation, and procrastination set in as I mulled over my plan of attack.

Any parent who has had a child knows it is a delicate dance to wean children off of whatever crutch it may be.  First, “the experts” only recommend allowing the pacifiers at bedtime, which is easier said than done when you are at home all day with your child and he knows where you keep them…

Hence this picture of Levi playing with his pacifiers as if they are cargo on his semi-trailer toy.

And yes, for those of you who are concerned, my child is playing on top of a counter top.  Don’t worry, it’s totally safe.  He has only fallen off once.

Anyways, I didn't do so well with the only allowing the pacifiers at bed time, but I was good about only allowing him to have them in the house when people weren't over (family not included).

The next step in pacifier intervention is really a deck of cards.  If your child is old enough to somewhat understand you can have the child bring all of his pacifiers to a mom with a new baby and give up them since that baby needs them more than your now “big kid.”  Or you can have the “Paci Fairy” take them away at night and leave something in return.

I knew neither of those tactics would work with Levi, so I did what I knew best and had done with Charlie.  I cleared out his pacifier drawer in the mini-chest on top of his dresser, took out two of his beloved pacifiers and snipped the ends off.

That evening I presented Levi with the clipped pacifiers and said, “oh no, they’re broken.” The next few moments seemed to go by at half-speed.  Levi intensely inspected the pacifiers, then looked skeptically at me, then looked back at the pacifiers, wound-up and proceeded to throw them at me and say what I believe were to be baby curse words.

I am pretty sure that he was demanding new ones, so I just said, “Sorry, they’re all broken.”  That triggered some high shrieks followed by a tantrum of tears.  I told myself to just take some deep calming breaths.  Aside from the Hail Mary attack, I had expected this type of reaction.

After he had calmed down a bit, I handed the “broken” pacifiers back to him to hold on to while we read books.  Now they were more like toys to amuse him.  He would stick his pudgy fingers in the wholes where the pacifier tip used to be and wear them as extensions to his fingers.  I wish that I would have taken a photo, but I was trying avoid any encouragement of such behavior…or any relationship with pacifiers what-so-ever.

Without going into every detail of the rest of the night’s events, just know that Levi went about his recent typical behavior of not going to bed when he was supposed to and walked all over me until around 10pm when Travis went to bed.  I got Levi to sleep by falling to sleep myself singing/whispering lullabies on the guest bed that is located in his room.

Levi has asked for his pacifiers occasionally throughout the daytime, but I avoid the question whiny mumbling and tried to distract him with something else (“Ooooh, look a combine!").  I have since discarded the “broken” pacifiers as I really don’t want to have them thrown at me anymore.

Going on day 3 of Paci Intervetion 2.0…


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