I was thinking about it today, as my kids tried to fall asleep, that it seems somehow unfair that an adult can make a kid quit something cold turkey. Especially when that's something as dear as a pacifier.
Conversely, I thought how nice it may be to 'help' my downstairs neighbor quit smoking or the neighbor down the hallway clean up from all the recreational activities. Just like that, cold turkey. Adult pacifiers are not so easily taken away... But I digress.
A couple of weeks ago I decided that my kids' upcoming 2 week vacation may be a good time to finally get rid of pacies. Because there really isn't a "good" time.
I've done it once, almost 3 years ago. It went pretty smoothly except I misguidedly listened to someone who felt bad for my tiny kids. I felt bad for my tiny kids, too. After all, they were mine. So after a couple of weeks pacy free, we started night time pacies. Except there is no pure night time. There are nap times, and bad mood times, and need to rest times, and defiant times, and just because times...I was waiting for my kids to voluntarily give up the habit. But though one frequently talked about it, the other one didn't want to hear about it. And the time kept ticking. Beginning of school, beginning of Sunday program, long vacation, short breaks, stresses and stressors. No time seems to be good. Then there was the dentist 2 months ago who said they've got to (especially one of them) stop. And a smug 23 year old at work who said she just did it...
Then, quite acceidentally, (who reads school calendars?) I found out that my kids have 2 weeks vacation.
I told both the kids and hubby about the start date. I was dreading it, neither one of the other parties seem to realize what was coming. And when it was bedtime, I recapped my speech about giving pacies to a local charity fund. Then, I politely took away 2 of my son's pacies and one of my daughter's. I kind of had to snatch her spare one, there is no sugarcoating it.
It seemed almost effortless for one of them. S/he said 'yea, I'm ready to give up pacies', reminded me maybe 15 times to give her/him the vitamins ( which normally we both forget), and went to sleep within 10 minutes.
The other one took it hard. First s/he wined. Then pleaded. Then demanded. Then almost threatened (to go and sleep on the couch). Then alternated between all of the above. After about 20 minutes that lasted hours, I manage to find a distruction by counting together first to 20, then to 50, then to 100. The quiet seemed promising. Then I started counting down from 100. And s/he remembered the loss.
The pleading and demanding was pretty hard. It took quite a lot of strength on my part. And this was not the first time I took something away from my child. But there was something so eloguent and desparate in that plea to get the pacy back, that minutes seemed to stretch to no end.
Finally, probably after an hour ( not sure, I lost track of time), hubby came to the rescue, at first quite unaware of all the drama. His presence worked to distract the heartbreaking sobs. After another 10 minutes of small talk and jokes everyone finally fell asleep.
In the morning they woke up the usual 6 AM as if nothing happened. I was waiting for some questions, comments, requests. None came. We survived day #1.
2 weeks ago