Friday, June 26, 2009

The Paci Fairy Cometh...

"What is this", you ask?! It's our mailbox (complete with a flowering vine growing up through it--clearly doesn't require a lot of sun-light). And what's in our mailbox? No, that's not how I send out our mortgage payment each month (although I'm sure it would brighten the day of the sad sap who opens those envelops). It's Ethan's "Thank You" note to the Paci Fairy. Because tonight, she came to get his pacifier and take it far, far away to another baby who needs it (or, as you and I know, the trash-can).

A month or so ago, at Ethan's 3 year check up, the pediatrician said it was time to get rid of the paci. Looking in Ethan's mouth disapprovingly, he said, "He still uses his paci, huh?" Ugh. The moment all mother's dread. The pediatrician standing in judgment of my bad, bad mothering. I'm not stranger to it. You might recall our first pediatrician telling me to let Ethan cry-it-out when he was 4 months old and when I said CIO wasn't for us, he jotted down "Mother needs to toughen up" in Ethan's file. Awe-some.

So I've learned to take the pedi-judgment with a grain of salt, but this was one thing I really couldn't deny--at the rate we're going, Ethan's mouth is going to suck up about 4 Disney vacation's worth of Husband's paycheck by the time he hits puberty.

Husband & I discussed how best to introduce the idea of giving up the paci. Ethan is a hardcore paci fanatic. He stopped using it during the day a long long time ago, but he'd have you believe that the nap and nighttime use has been, up until about 20 hours ago, woven into the fabric of his very soul. I was looking forward to this experience about as much as I would a root canal, or a high colonic.

We decided we'd totally co-opt the tooth fairy's gig and about two weeks ago, we started talking to him about how the Paci Fairy was going to come and take his paci to a little baby somewhere who needed it, and that he was a big boy and he didn't need it anymore. I so thought he would see through that. Or that he'd say the babies could get their own paci. He's a good sharer, but this seemed above and beyond.

On Monday of this week, we decided it would be Friday, today. We ramped up the Paci Fairy rhetoric and started asking Ethan what he wanted her to bring him as a present for giving his paci to a baby who needs it. At first there was talk about something having to do with Blues Clues (this discussion happened with Husband, so I don't really know what he meant) Thankfully he changed his mind, because as it turns out---no Blues Clues products are sold anywhere near me. Does LA have something against the little blue dog??!!

Yesterday, Ethan told me he wanted the Paci Fairy to bring him a giraffe. A purple giraffe. Um. The blue dog was starting to sound good and I tried to swing him back to a Blues Clues state of mind, but he was having none of it. Purple giraffe. Okay. This is also the kid who, when you ask him what he wants for lunch, he says, "Pick up truck!!" So, you know. He doesn't always get exactly what he wants--I'm thinking a pick up truck for lunch would probably be a bit rougher on the teeth than an entire lifetime with the paci. So if his giraffe isn't quite purple (and by that, I mean not at all purple), he probably won't be too surprised.

Today after school, we set about making the Paci Fairy a "Thank you" card---if you recall in the past, I have shared with you my crafting prowess. I'm wicked crafty. I dug out the foam paper sheets, the glitter glue and pom-poms, and the letter stickers. Initially I sat down and wrote out a simple message, in sticker letters, to the Paci Fairy.

In retrospect, it does look more like a ransom note than a "thank you" card, but again. I'm not what you'd call crafty.

Then, in my best Anti-Kate Gosselin move, I threw caution to the wind and figured any mess could be cleaned up later, I let the child loose with the glitter glue, the silver glitter, the pom-poms and anything else we could get our hands on that would stick to the foam.

Nice, no?

This evening, I got out an envelope, Ethan got his pacifier and dropped it in. Sigh. I sealed the envelope and we went outside to put it, along w/ the glittery joy that is the "thank you" card, into the mailbox. We let Ethan have the honors, and he even thought to put the little red flag up.

After that, Husband took Ethan to his room for bedtime. I anticipated tears, plaintive cries for the paci, tantrums. Um. Nothing. Husband emerged from the bedroom in almost no time. No tears. Just a sleeping Ethan. Paci-free. Wha???!!!

If I've learned one thing from this child, it's that what happens tonight could be in a completely different universe from what happens tomorrow night. Or later on tonight. He could wake up in three hours and stay awake until my eyeballs are cracking, wailing for his pacifier. Tomorrow night he could do his best to make Husband and me want to stick forks in our ears to make the screaming stop. I will be giving Husband my car keys to hide from me so that I don't run out to the 24 hour CVS at 2am to buy up every paci they have.

But tonight? So far? It's quiet. And I'm about to go outside and gather up the Paci Fairy loot--a giraffe (regular old giraffe-colored, sorry kiddo), a hula hoop (blue and sparkly--he will love it) and a toy microphone (the child thinks he's Bon Jovi. I am so not joking), and arrange it in the livingroom so he'll see it when he wakes up in the morning. And the "thank you" note to the Paci Fairy? That's going in my memory book.


gringa said...

Yeah Ethan.... hope it sticks...

Lindsay Margenau said...

Thanks for posting the strategy Sarah!! We will definitely be following in your footsteps in a couple months and this is super helpful... keep us posted on how he does tonight!

lonek8 said...

that is such a great idea! I have been lucky and none of my kids used a paci, and while my husband did as a child, basically one day his parents couldn't find it so they just said "no more paci, go to bed" and he did. End of story. not very useful in terms of preparation for weaning your own kids. So I'm glad I haven't had tofigure out how to deal with it myself. my third seems to be turning into a thumbsucker - I guess the thumb fairy probably isn't a good idea, huh?

j17kelly said...

How is the no paci thing going? We are going to try this come her third birthday. And I am scared out of my mind. Eliza is in love w/ her paci for naps/bed like it seems Ethan was. Good job Ethan. :)