Thursday, June 28, 2007

How to kick the passy habit

As some of you already know, we've got one kid who's a thumbsucker and one who's a passy-sucker (that's passy as in short for pacifier). We've had no luck getting the thumbsucker to quit her habit, but we have had success with the passy sucker.

The passy sucker is Callie. We've always restricted her passy use to the crib and the car, and lately just to the crib (after she bit the nipple off the one we kept in the car). I've considered taking the passy away from her completely, but knew she'd have a tough time getting to sleep. And, honestly, at 8pm if my kids aren't quietly slipping off to dreamland I change from "mostly nice mom" to "mean mom" to "really mean mom" and very quickly to "really mean wife." That's never good for a marriage. So, I thought it would be best to let Callie give up her passy on her own terms.

Although the recommendations for passy removal probably differ from doctor to doctor (and mom to mom), what we've heard and read is that it's best to get a kid to give up their pacifier by the end of the first year of life. After that it, apparently, only gets harder. And, many say that if you take the kid's pacifier you'll have to replace it with some other form of comfort (kind of like when you take away a woman's chocolate she'll replace it with...insert your vice of choice here). We must have gotten lucky because it seems like Callie has not (at least not yet) required a replacement. And, she's been off the passy for over a month now. Here's how it happened.

The Thursday before Memorial Day we arrived at El Capitan Canyon just north of Santa Barbara for a few days of swanky camping. As we were unpacking our beat up and very dirty rental minivan, Callie grabbed her passy (she had been sucking on it while she slept on the drive up from Disneyland) and took it into our tent. Predictably, somewhere between unpacking and bedtime, the passy got lost. Scott had a backup packed just in case of emergency, but somehow we couldn't find that one either. So, Scott and I prepared ourselves for a long night of crying. We warned our camping buddies, the Garrisons, that she might cry and cry and cry. And then, because she enjoys making liars out of us, she whimpered for a few minutes and crashed into a long, hard sleep. The next day at naptime we were prepared for an hour of crying. Again, she whimpered a bit and then crashed. That night...the same thing. The next day there was no whimpering at naptime and no whimpering that night before going to sleep. We thought, "Hooray, she's cured!" And sure enough, she was.

So, we got home a week or so later and a week or so after that I started unpacking. What did I come across upon unpacking our bags? Both the original and the backup passies of course. Being the good memory-artifact-saving mom I am, I tossed both passies into her "baby drawer," a drawer full of stuff that I intend to organize someday into a sweet shadowbox for my sweet girl. Unfortunately, most mornings Callie gets out of bed long before I do. Well, sometime last week when she was roaming around the house unsupervised she decided to check out my craft closet and found both her passies in her baby drawer. I awoke to the sound of Callie mumbling to her sister...a mumbling that reminded me a lot of what she used to sound like with a passy in her mouth. I jumped (literally) out of bed and tiptoed upstairs. As I peaked around the corner, I saw her rambling around the loft with her pink passy in her mouth. Ugh. Game was up, I figured. So I said, "Callie, what's in your mouth?" She mumbled, "Pink passy." I said, "Oh, where'd you find it?" "In drawer," she replied, pointing to my craft closet. I pulled the passy out of her mouth and said, "It's a good thing your such a big girl and you don't need a baby passy any more. Did you find anything else in the drawer?" "Aqua one in my bed," she sighed. Before she could get there to hide it, I raced into her room, grabbed her aqua passy off of her bed, and hid them both up high in her closet where she couldn't see them. I thought there would be a big fuss, that she would sit at the bottom of her closet staring up, waiting for me to give them back. But, nothing! No crying, no fussing, she's done!

Once in a while she'll mutter something about "aqua" or "pink" and I know she's talking about her passies but when I say, "Aqua what?" it's like she's forgotten the word passy completely. It's amazing to me how something that was such an integral part of her life for so long can be forgotten so quickly. Thank God. Now, if anyone has any advice for our thumbsucker...

Here are a few old photos to memorialize our passy-sucker.

1 comment:

Michael said...

haha! great story! my advice for the thumbsucker? go camping for a week and somehow misplace both her thumbs. :)