Saturday, February 02, 2008

Good-bye, friend

In the 3 years since Lucian's birth, I've never felt like I've disappointed him like I have in the past 24 hours.

I had to take away his pacifier.

The first night I had Lucian home from the hospital (the night when Nemo left me alone), my Mom came over and and took care of the baby so I could sleep. That night, she introduced him to the pacifier. We have joked that my Mom got him hooked, but the fact is, the pacifier saved my sleep and my sanity a great many times over the past 3 years. (And I place no blame on my mother.)

There was a time when I used to take 3 pacifiers and put them around his stuffed animal's limbs so that he could find them in his crib if he dropped one inadvertantly during the night. I used to carry them in my pockets, purses, even the cup holder in the car.

Last summer, I started weaning him down. Little by little, I told him that we couldn't take it with us in the car, that he had to leave it on the dresser when it wasn't nap time, and started explaining how it was going to give him crooked teeth.

We recently went to both the dentist and the pediatrician. They both said it needed to go ASAP.

I tried explaining it to him, and surprisingly he understood. But as bedtime would approach, he still craved the pacifier.

My Mom came up with the idea of the pacifier fairy who would come to take the pacifier and leave a gift. After lots of prepping, last night was the night. The pacifier fairy brought him a new stuffed animal to make it less scary, and I told him he could play with a train set from Christmas that we hadn't opened.

Today went surprisingly well. He took a nap with little problem and spent a good portion of the day playing with the train. And then it was bedtime.

We cried together over the loss. He's lost the thing he loves most in the world. I know it was the right thing to do, but I never considered how horrible I'd feel. I've done other things that have been in Lucian's best interest that haven't been pleasant (discipline and vaccination shots, for example) and I've always been able to remain unemotional about it. (I do admit though as a diabetic, it's a little hard for me to work up any sympathy for vaccination shots, or for parents that are so pained by having to submit their child to them.)

I feel like I've ripped his heart out, even if it was the right thing to do.

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