• J Mess


Well, knock me over with a feather.

Guys, I can't believe I'm about to write this. But we are pacifier-free for over a week!!! Today is day 12 to be exact, but who's counting. I feel like I'm jinxing it just by telling you, but I'm so optimistic that I want to yell it from the rooftops! Well, maybe not, I don't want Nathan to hear anything about it and remember. I even hid the "Binky" book we have in an utter panic. Because there is no turning back now. I was so certain we were going to have that thing until he was 30, that I almost feel sorry for "cat-cat" looking so forlorn and insanely, disgustingly, dirty and disheveled, smooshed inside the bottom of my purse in case of serious, apocalyptic level emergency. Nobody saw this one coming, least of all "cat-cat."

We had done a pretty good job of ridding ourselves of the hundreds of additional pacifiers that were all over the place. These that Nathan lovingly called "didis" mostly disappeared on their own, meaning I'll find them in random clothing pockets and purses next year, and we were left with just one... cat-cat. This one though, being special and instantly recognizable, had become a prized possession that he asked for by name, ate meals with, and demanded I treat with respect. "Put cat-cat der." Yes, master. This one would be much more difficult to get rid of.

This is my fault. When he was a baby, I wanted him to love that stupid cat wubbe more than anything. Watch what you wish for.

The pediatrician was not pleased at the 21-month-checkup considering he told me to melt all the pacifiers down at 18 months. I had also been hearing lots of stories lately about how hard it can be to lose the pacifier if I waited too long. And how dentists were also not happy at kid's first checkups. I noticed that Nathan's teeth were most likely suffering even though we were desperately trying to only use cat-cat a couple hours a day, in the car and in the crib. But I figured once he could maybe understand and comprehend a little bit better, we could rationalize cat-cat away. I could offer him something he might like more, like a prize or a new toy or stuffed animal. Or we could discuss and agree to package cat-cat up and send it away to a baby in need. Or I could cut the pacifier part off cat-cat and sew him into a stuffed animal we could keep but not put in our mouth.

But the closer we got to the arrival of little sister, the more nervous I became about forcing tons of changes. Nathan is moving into a big-boy room which will be an adjustment. And getting a sibling who may or may not also be a pacifier-a-holic and I didn't want him to be jealous or resentful, or actually try to steal her pacifier because he was being denied his own. So thinking this would be a gargantuan task, we decided to wait and let him have it a little bit longer.

Then one day on the way to camp as we were getting into the car, Nathan threw cat-cat out onto the driveway. I told him YUCK, cat-cat is dirty and if you throw him, he'll be gone forever. I took cat-cat into the front seat to clean, expecting a meltdown complete with sad "caaaaaaaat, caaaaaat" whining, but Nathan got distracted by something else and we somehow made it to camp sans cat-cat. When it was time for pick-up, I decided to see how we would do. I was given an opening here and I had to recognize it and seize it! If I caved and reintroduced cat-cat, I'd have to start all over from scratch. So we went home without cat-cat, and went to sleep that night without cat-cat, and by the end of day 1, there was less than zero chance I was giving that thing back to him. Every subsequent day was one step closer to a cat-cat free existence and that is our new reality.

I am honestly still in shock that this happened. I hate to say it was easy, but I definitely feared the worst and it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. The first couple days I had been giving him prizes and explaining what a good boy he was, but I wouldn't mention cat-cat so he had no idea why he was getting all these new toys. Sadly for me his new obsessions of choice are other things that I'll find all over my house, car, in my bags, coats, pockets, and will disappear constantly... Matchbox cars. But as long as they're not in his mouth, I couldn't care less...

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