As any other good mom, I occasionally like to find random, pointless ways to be mean to my children. Like today, I decided to sneak into Little Miss O's room and cut the pacifier off her bunny stuffed animal while she slept. Maybe I should back up just a little.
Before Little Miss O was born, I saw a display of soothie pacifiers attached to little stuffed animals. I thought 'what a fabulous idea!' but then I saw the price tag and changed my mind. Moving forward a few months, after Little Miss O was born I realized she would be a pacifier child. I have always been OK with pacifiers, it is perfectly fine and even healthy for a child to want to suck on a thumb or pacifier (or so I read in a book somewhere.) I remembered back to the display and got excited, then I remembered the $14.99 tag. Amazingly these particular pacifiers are some of the best out there and they only cost $5 for a 2 pack. Since Little Miss O is a second child, we were already stocked on stuffed animals. I dug through the giant pile and found a perfectly lightly stuffed bunny. I sewed a pacifier on the ears of the bunny and Little Miss O was hooked.
There were several benefits I saw to this. Early on she would loose the pacifier while sleeping, but with the stuffed animal attached it stayed right next to her mouth and was easily retrieved most nights without waking me up. A few months later, while out and about if she spit out the pacifier it would stay in the car seat, or would be easily caught before hitting a dirty ground, parking lot or unseen area. We added a monkey to her addiction after one night of searching for the bunny and found it behind the couch, where big sister had hidden it. I decided two would be handy for those times that might become more frequent, and they did.
Eventually the monkey packed up and left. We really don't know what happened to it. I realized it was missing a day that we never left the house, so I figured it had to be around here somewhere. But after a week we gave up hope, and figured it must have ran away the day before I realized it was gone.
After another night of searching for the bunny, I decided to add another pacifier to the collection. An elephant, given to her by Aunt Awesome (or at least I bet that is what they call her due to all the spoiling.)
We don't have silly names for our pacifiers, or stuffed animals for that matter. Little Miss O was attached to 'Bunny' and 'Elephant'. They both went through the washing machine on opposite weeks, sometimes they 'bathed' together. Little Miss O was usually upset with me for a half hour on those days.
Shortly after Little Miss O turned two, I found a hole in Elephant. Well that sounds weird. Basically she chewed through the pacifier and it became unsafe. So we cut off the pacifier and didn't replace it. Then we started letting her take elephant out of the house but Bunny (the one that still had a pacifier attached) had to stay home. This worked, surprisingly well, considering all the reasons I thought the attached stuffed animal idea would be good weren't supported by anyone I knew.
Around Christmas, like Christmas Eve, I washed Bunny. After that bath, the stitching started to come undone, and the pacifier was dangling. I reattached the pacifier that evening and then realized there was a small hole in it from her bottom teeth. Knowing that in the coming days would be a room change (we combined the girls into the same room) and there would be lots of family coming in and leaving, we decided to watch the hole. Then after things settled and became more routine, we would attempt to ditch the pacifier.
Today, Little Miss O handed me her Bunny while playing. I saw the hole was much larger and becoming a problem. We decided today was the day.
I asked Little Miss O if we could say goodbye to the pacifier and she promptly grabbed the bunny and wouldn't let go. So I decided to sneak in during nap and let the pacifier fairy make it go away. This way big sister wouldn't tell on me.
Little Miss O did not nap for more than a half hour after that. She came out of her room very sad and upset. She came straight to me telling me that 'Bunny doesn't work.' I just cuddled close to her, it broke my heart. I had bought a back up pack, so that if she substitutes her thumb for the missing pacifier we could remedy that problem, and quickly.
Knowing I had those and hearing her tell me that Bunny doesn't work, made me want to jump up and give her both from the pack. But with great restraint, I just cuddled with her. It took a good 45 minutes before the random whining and awesome cuddling stopped. She hoped down from my lap and started playing. With no regard to where the broken bunny was. She even allowed Big Girl J to play with it!
As we speak she has been put to bed with the broken bunny. Amazingly it has been her sister who has gotten out of bed too many times. Without getting myself in trouble, so far so good.
I do understand that at this age it only takes 3 days to make a habit, or I guess break a habit. I knew the first day would be rough, so I am prepared for a long night. But I will be happy if it that is not the case.