Apr 14, 2013

Goodbye Weekend, Goodbye Spring

Update on the pacifier: I decided to give it Paige only at night, a decision that I know many probably do not agree with, but I feel most comfortable with. It's what we decided, for now. And we'll see what happens. (You know, aside from the three mornings she's thrown a fit asking for it after getting out of bed.)

In other news, it's spring here, evidence by the fresh snowfall we got this past week. Snow the second week in April really shouldn't shock me, but, oh my goodness, gross. I am currently one of many complaining about the weather, constantly. And I still really wouldn't mind moving to San Diego.

The girls don't seem too concerned, except that they had to go back to wearing their "puffy coats" again. But they're hearty Minnesotans with their no-socks and sleeveless dressing choices. Hope even ran from the car to the house in bare feet on Friday. Yes, bare feet through the snow.

On the plus side, I was encouraged to pull out the last of the frozen cookie dough in my freezer so that we could have warm cookies after dinner tonight. And then I was sad that we each only got one cookie (okay, I might've snuck the fifth cookie myself), so the girls and I made some modified monster cookies before bed. I might as well embrace the fact that the snow reminds me of winter and triggers my biology to bake and eat and put on fat. Nothing like cookies to help fatten me up.

On the list this week: more cookies (perhaps chocolate peanut butter) and homemade granola. Even my husband caught the spirit, or rather I caught the spirit from him, as he made homemade bread this afternoon. Bring it on winter! (Okay, not really, but I've gotta act tough otherwise I'll just curl up in a ball and cry in bed all day. Snow in April? Sheesh.)

And now I'm going to go check out in front of the television and enjoy the last of my weekend. My five-year-old told me that her favorite day is Monday. I'm pretty sure she must've been switched at birth.


Apr 8, 2013

The Pacifier Is Killing My Confidence

Why didn't any one tell me about how in motherhood it will be hard to tell when an issue is your child's and when that issue is actually yours? Like, this particular pain of parenthood, is it because I hurt for my daughter or just that I don't want to admit she's growing up? Or maybe someone did tell me that but I didn't listen. I was all, Sure. Sure. I hear what you're saying and I'm so totally not going to be like that. I will never be one of those parents that gives in because I can't be strong. It's all about the tough love, yo.

Okay, so maybe I didn't think that exactly but, you know, something like that.

If you read either of my previous posts (or am my friend on Facebook), you probably know what problem I am referring to. The pacifier. The wonderfully silencing, magically soothing, achingly horrible to get rid of, pacifier.

Paige turned three this weekend and we decided to take it away. The problem is, I'm not exactly sure why we decided that. I mean, I know that somewhere I heard that age three is the magic number. Like, any child that has a pacifier after three is doomed to a life of, well, I don't know what. Crooked teeth? Excessive drooling? Being made fun of? I don't know.

To be honest, I'm sure there were already people judging me for letting Paige have a pacifier that long anyway. But it didn't bother me. The pressure of potential judgements was pretty easy to brush off, or laugh off, or say, yup, she still has a pacifier and I don't care. So I guess I'm not sure why I felt so much pressure over stopping at a certain age.

The dentist. The illusive and imaginary dentist, because I did not actually talk to a dentist about it I just feel like that's what I had heard dentists supposedly say.

So, we warned her leading up to her birthday, knowing full well that it was going to be horribly hard, and the day after she turned three we took it away. Just like that. Cold turkey.

I knew that it would be horrible. For her and myself. And on Sunday when she whined on and off all day for her 'nuki' my heart broke into a million pieces. Yes, because I didn't want to admit she's not a baby, but actually mostly because I felt like it was wrong. I felt like if her security item was a blanket we would've never felt the 'need' (was it ever a need?) to take it away, so why with the pacifier? Especially because we didn't actually do any research (ie talking to a dentist) beforehand.

My husband assured me she was 'fine', but our definitions of fine are different because although she was not devastated and throwing herself on the floor, I had to sing her to sleep at nap (otherwise she was crying) and at night she whined for it until she fell asleep.

I went to bed last night and cried. Taking away her pacifier just made me want to baby her even more. I wanted to scoop her up out of her crib (even after she was sleeping) and bring her into bed with me and comfort her and tell her I love her and un-traumatize her from taking her security item away from her.

I know that makes it sound like I'm just having a hard time admitting that she's growing up, but I assure you, that is not it. I am afraid that by taking away her security item before she was ready we are hurting her emotionally or psychologically. Maybe she won't think, My parents took my pacifier away when I was three and it totally messed me up! but it is possible that it affects her. I really believe that.

So as I'm crying in bed last night, my husband told me when can give it to her at night if that's what I wanted to do. And that's what I wanted to do. Except, I also am second guessing myself. (Because somehow that seems to be my nature when it comes to motherhood.) Do I think we took it away too quickly? Yes. Do I think we should've let her keep it at night and taken our time with giving it up? Yes. Do I think we should've tried to let her give up nights herself? Yes. Do I feel like it's too late to change our minds? Kind of. Because as much as I hate to admit it, my husband was right, sort of. While I disagree that she was 'fine' she also wasn't as bad as I thought she'd be. And today she asked for it only twice.

My husband thinks we should give it another day or two. I'm on the fence. I told him tonight that if she asked for it at bedtime I was going to give it to her. She asked for it at bedtime and I didn't. I feel like a shithead. (Sorry, that's the best way I can describe it.)

Taking away her pacifier makes my heart break. Seeing her upset and not have her item that comforts her breaks my heart even more. But today was better than yesterday. So maybe she really doesn't need it? I don't know. I just can't seem to make up my mind. It's like I want someone to be able to tell me the right thing to do.

I want to just give it back to her at night, but I feel like I'm being a bad parent by second guessing myself, especially if she isn't as devastated about it as I thought she'd be. Especially if she's getting less and less upset about it.

And that is why parenthood is hard. It isn't because I have a hard time doing the right thing. It's because I don't know what the right thing is. And I just want to do right by my daughter. I want her to know that she is safe and loved and that I will comfort her any way I know how and that I will never do anything to hurt her, even if sometimes it feels like I am.

I just don't want her to hurt. I don't want to be the cause of her hurt.

(And I really want to giver her back the pacifier.)


Apr 6, 2013

Today She is Three

Yesterday, she was two.

Two is still a toddler.

Two is giggles and snuggles and running away squealing.

Two is figuring out that she doesn't want to wear certain things and only wants to wear dresses. It is learning to ride a tricycle if even that only means pushing with her feet. Two is watching our every move and wanting to be 'just like Mommy'.

Two is deciding she wants to sit on the potty and then deciding she just wants to wear undies. It is looking in the mirror and telling herself she's beautiful. Two is twirling in a dress while declaring, I'm a princess!

Two is the sparkle in her eyes with every new experience and every new moment in her life. It is the excitement of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and getting candy at Halloween. Two is jumping up and down to show off just how high she can get.

Two is declaring she can do it herself and then a moment later asking for help. It is a lot of reminders of Please and Thank You, and lot of her remembering to say them on her own. Two is learning to play pretend with her older sister.

Two is testing the limits time and time again. It is crying and sighing and pouting and yelling. It is hugs and kisses and an infinite number of I Love Yous. Two is cuddling in bed and falling back asleep on early mornings.

Two is demanding a bedtime story only to walk away and play and then return to hear the very end. It is wanting to sit on a specific side of the car, every time we go somewhere. Two is pointing out the letter P every place she sees it (and even when it isn't actually a P).

Two is more adventurous in her eating than her older sister ever was. It is telling knock knock jokes that don't make any sense and laughing hysterically anyway. Two is constantly changing who she likes and dislikes even though her parents encourage her to always like her friends.

Two is covering her mouth to giggle and throwing back her head for a belly laugh. It is asking for water and teddy and potty and and and at bedtime to delay the door closing. Two is asking for her pacifier and then lifting her shirt to touch her belly whenever she is tired/sad/hungry/in the car/pretty much she just feels like.

Two is her first ride on an airplane (and her second). It is figuring out how to play games on the iPad without anyone teaching her. It is running to her daddy and telling him, Dad, I like your purple shirt, when he walks through the door after work.

Two is wanting to play outside but not get muddy. It is despising having her nose wiped. Two is loving to play in the bath but hating to be scrubbed.

Two is asking for a napkin to wipe up a dot of oatmeal on the table. It is delighting in every bird, squirrel, and puppy we see out the window. Two is running away screaming when Mommy tries to comb her hair.

Two is the joy of toddlerhood and the agony of toddlerhood. It is lots of hugs for no reason at all and throwing herself on the floor and crying for no reason at all. Two is a year full of love and wonder and memories made.

Yesterday she was two.

Today she is three.

Three is saying goodbye to the pacifier. It is transitioning to a big girl bed. Three is starting gymnastics this spring and preschool this fall. Three will be many wonderful things.

Happy Birthday to my Sweet P, Paige. May this year overflow with your love and laughter.


PS. I am devastated to be saying goodbye to the pacifier. And it's not because I'm worried about how she'll sleep (although I am worried about how she'll sleep). I just hate to take away something she uses as comfort. And I don't like admitting she's not a baby anymore.

Apr 5, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Two (and a Pacifier)

Tomorrow, she is three. Three. Three.

And while I know she is growing into a beautiful little girl, she is still my baby. My sweet little baby.

I'm going to admit that, although she is turning three, she still uses as pacifier. Yes, yes, I know, I know. She's THREE (well, one day away from three) and still using a pacifier. I have no excuse, other than my oldest never had one, so I never had to worry about taking it away, and since Paige has always seemed like my baby, it just never was a big priority.

So the big day is this weekend, and we have been prepping her that after her birthday tomorrow, the pacifier is going bye-bye. (This momma thought it was too much to take it away on her actual birthday, because birthdays are for happy and celebrating, not for adjusting to losing a security item.) My husband is confident that it won't be horrible, simply because she also uses her belly as a security item too. But I've noticed the past few days that it goes nuki (what we call the pacifier) in first, touch belly next. I'm a little nervous that without the nuki she won't find her belly as comforting.

Oh and I've already admitted to letting my baby have a pacifier longer than recommended, and now I'm going to admit that I'm sad about taking it away. I am sad to say goodbye to the pacifier, and not because I'm worried about how she'll take it, it's purely because it means she's growing up (and I'm afraid she won't touch her belly as much and that is just so darn cute).

One day away from three. Three! And while that means so many wonderful and happy and fabulous things, it also feels so bittersweet. That bittersweetness of motherhood and babies growing up, which is what you want them to do, but is sometimes so hard too.