Disclaimer: This is NOT a post on how to wean your child off a pacifier.
Everyone has that special something that if taken away would result in heart palpitations, sweaty palms and an immense amount of anxiety. For my two-year-old nugget this would be her pacifier; a part of her bed-time ritual since the day she entered this world. The moment she nibbled on that nuk I cringed about the thought of breaking her of that habit. However, it became clear the time had come to give it up, or else local orthodontists would start headhunting her for a metal mouth.
Yesterday, on a whim, I grabbed an Amazon box and some packing tape. I told nugget that her cousin in South Carolina would love her passies and that it would be a great idea to send them to him (she loves her cousin and talks about him everyday). Surprisingly, she began skipping around the house picking up her passies like she was on an Easter egg hunt and gingerly placed them in the box. Over and over she talked about sharing her passies with her cousin and how much he would love them. She sealed it with a kiss and we placed the box on the front parch for the mail man to take to “Souf Carowina.”
Step one was done, but the real battle would be bedtime. All day my stomach was in knots. How was I going to handle whatever terrible – two behaviors that were about to be thrown at me like yesterday’s juice box? Every night the first thing she asks for is her passie as she nervously scourers her bed for the first one she can find.
Bath (big bubbles of course), Ariel jammies on, hair braided, hugs and kisses for Daddy and baby nugget. This is it! I tucked my little nugget into bed, said our prayers, laughed about our day, and read some books. Once our routine was done, I laid next to her to circumvent any anxiety, but NOTHING, nothing happened. Soon she was fast asleep.
I cried. I cried because I realized this beautiful little blonde, that still wears diapers, taught me a huge life lesson. Through this whole process I was so concerned about myself, and how this was affect me, that I totally lost sight of the fact that she was the one experiencing loss. Not only that, but she gave up her most coveted item without so much as a tear, because she wanted to pass it along to someone she loves.
In the simplest and truest form, this innocent little nugget showed me love and selflessness. Thankfully, each day she reminds me what’s most important in this average Jo’s life.