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Congratulations Are In Order (on giving up pacifiers)

November 9, 2012

Last week was a big week for us.  Elisabeth finally gave up sleeping with her pacifier.  Over the years I have tried so many ways to come between her and her beloved pacifier, to no avail.  Dan asked about a month ago, “At what age will it no longer be appropriate for Elisabeth to sleep with a pacifier?”  I informed him that the age of appropriateness passed us by quite a while ago.

Many people have offered different suggestions on the matter.  Her pediatrician suggested we tie the pacifier to a balloon and watch it fly away.  I have one friend who stole it in the night and told her child the squirrels ate it.  Another friend mailed it away to “a poor child”.  None of these felt quite right.  I didn’t think I could bear watching her watch her most favorite thing in the world fly away on a balloon, and she has enough nighttime fears without adding squirrels to the list.  Her pacifier is way too chewed up to give to the poor.  So I went with the old faithful: BRIBES.

I wonder if some of the little people have realized that the children who cling most stubbornly to their pacifiers end up winning the biggest prize.  Charlie’s  friend Bray got a skateboard.  My cousin got a bike (which sat atop the refrigerator, taunting him until he caved).  I started small, offering Elisabeth a piece of candy.  As time passed my promises grew bigger and bigger (rookie mistake). From a piece of candy, I went to offering the biggest lollipop from the candy store at the mall.  That didn’t do it, so I added lunch at the American Girl Store.  From there, I promised we would actually buy something a from the  American Girl Doll Store (To my relief she chose a doll dress and not an actual doll!). At one point I believe I said, “You can have anything you want, anything in the whole world!”  Nothing worked.  I was sure she would be the only freshman in the dorm with a pacifier in her mouth.

At one point she informed me: “Mom, I think we will be going to lunch at the American Girl restaurant when I am a grown-up because I am never going to stop sleeping with my boppy (pacifier)…or maybe you’ll just be like: ‘Meet me at Coscoe.’ or ‘Meet me at IKEA.'”

Enter Charlie.  Their conversation last Sunday went as follows:

Charlie: “Hey Elisabeth, do you want to sleep on the top bunk?”

Elisabeth: “Sure!”

Charlie: “Well, are you ready to sleep without your boppy (pacifier) for 100 nights.”

Elisabeth: “Yes I am ready.”

Charlie: “Then I have a surprise for you. (whispering)  You can sleep up here forever. And in the morning when you come down you can use some of my things.”

Elisabeth: “Charlie, are you sure you are not tricking me? I know you are a trickster.”

Charlie: “I am not tricking you, Elisabeth.  I would not trick about this.  Come on up.”

Elisabeth: “Let me get my things.”

So she got her “things” (her gold medal, her blankie, a few books, and Dan’s school picture) and climbed on up without her pacifier.

Unfortunately, she remembered my desperate promises and on Friday, after a week of sleeping without her pacifier, she cashed in.

It was a wonderful morning.  She was so excited.  Much of the staff at the restaurant came over to offer congratulations.  I believe it was our first time to do something like this, just the two of us (plus Annie).

Sitting across from her at lunch, I had the feeling I’d been raising a litter of little puppies, and as we chatted  I suddenly realized that, while my back was turned, one of my puppies had turned into a little girl.

At the American Girl restaurant there are boxes of conversation starters on each table.  So we took turns answering questions including: “What cheers you up when you are feeling sad?”

Her answer: “Sucking on my pacifier, of course!”

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy Mason permalink
    November 9, 2012 6:30 pm

    Lucy, your stories make me feel like I’m experiencing your triumphs right there with your little Peppers! I still can’t believe that our Price actually walked down the aisle this year and said his vows without first pulling out his “passy”. Love, Nancy Mason

  2. Myra Arnold permalink
    November 9, 2012 6:31 pm

    Such a sweet story. I love your blog! Thanks for writing it.
    Miss Myra

  3. Grammie . . . or Not Your Grammie permalink
    November 9, 2012 8:18 pm

    She is such a sweet little girl. Precious pictures. Charlie is a gem!

  4. November 9, 2012 10:37 pm

    “Sitting across from her at lunch, I had the feeling I’d been caring for a litter of little puppies, and as we chatted I realized that one of my puppies has suddenly morphed into a little girl.”

    Is it because I’m pregnant that the sentence above made me cry? Thanks for all of the chuckles and the flash of light, Lucy.

  5. November 10, 2012 12:10 pm

    Congratulations to you both — well done and a memory too.

  6. November 12, 2012 8:45 pm

    When my oldest was too old for and not quite ready to give up his nuk, we had tried a lot of things too. Then one day we were feeding the ducks and he (accidentally, or subconsciously I don’t know) threw his nuk in the lake. He was wide eyed for a minute, and then said, “I gave my nuk to the ducks”, and that was that.

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