Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Buh-bye, Facifier

Ryan decided that the night we came back from the beach (Saturday), Jackson would start going to bed without his pacifier. He has ALWAYS used one, and to my knowledge has never fallen asleep without one...even in the car. Since he was about 16 months, we have limited him to bedtime and car trips, and he had chewed this one to the point that it didn't really work anymore anyway. We were worried about him choking on it if it came apart, and truthfully I was going to give him one more new one and make him give it up when he turned four in November- (theoretically anyway!). HOWEVER, my husband had different ideas.
He mentioned it to Jack as we pulled away from the beach, and a panicked Jackson began asking/pleading over and over for Daddy not to take it away. After admonishing my hubby for putting us all through this (saying it in the car- REALLY? at the beginning of a long car trip- REALLY??? have you taken a recent blow to the head or something?!), and reassuring Jack that we would talk about it later, he finally calmed down.
That night when he went to bed he cried and cried. He pulled out all the stops, even saying "But I'm still three!" and "But I'm still just a little boy!" and basically ripped my heart out of my chest in the process.
I tried to tell myself that it is for the best. His teeth are looking a little bucky, and seeing as Ryan had buck teeth as a kid, he's already got genetics working against him. I finally told him if he could go to bed this week without his paci, we would go to Chuck E Cheese. Aah, bribery...my sweet, sweet friend. It got me through the potty training...why not this?
I was futhermore sure that he would promptly stop napping. He's already been teetering on the nap thing, and I've been struggling for a couple months now to get everyone to nap at the same time. So far this week, he has slept both for naps and at night, but it has required someone to be in his room with him. So any tiny-fractional-minute-little break that I was getting before is now spent sitting in a dark room listening to him whimper as he falls asleep. It's excruciating.
And still a part of me wants him to use his paci because it makes him my baby. It means it's still okay to snuggle him all the time. To carry him up the stairs when he says he's too tired. To baby him when he skins his knee, instead of saying "Be a tough guy- you're okay!" To long for him to stay a little baby boy forever.
Sunday morning when he got up, he came into our bed for some snuggles. When Ryan and the kids went down for breakfast, his lovey, Lambie, was laying in the floor by our bed in a heap. And the last piece of my heart shattered. Honestly, I had visions of him using lambie to sleep until he was, like, 15. I had visions of clutching the lambie he had used for SO MANY YEARS in my wrinkled hand as I watched home videos and rocked back and forth on the couch the night he left for college and/or got married. I felt like lambie was a part of the family, and I swear he looked sad as he lay there in the floor. I cried like a baby myself and snuggled that lambie like it was my job. I think if I had ever been a thumb sucker I might have regressed that far.
The analogy was too much for me. I saw lambie on the floor, forgotten and left behind much like I see Jack heading into boyhood, teenagehood, and manhood. Soon he will be leaving his babyhood (and me) behind, and crumpled in a heap on the floor. And I know I'll never be ready for that.

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