Saturday, July 18, 2009

He's a smooth operator...

So, remember the whole thing with the Paci Fairy?  The cute card?  The trip to the mailbox, paci in envelope, the presents in the morning?  Yeah.  All that.   Husband and I have been patting each other on the back for that little stroke of genius for the past month.  Not one night of tears, no requests for paci, no preschooler screaming "I want my paci!!!!!!" backlash.   Awesome. 

Last night,  moments after the hallway door closed behind Husband and Ethan as they made their way to bed,  Husband came bolting out of the door, a sweating anxious mess.  Thinking something horrible had happened, I jumped up, trying to make sense of the string of words flying out of Husband's mouth.  Had someone fallen down?  Was there blood?! Was someone on fire?!!

"The paci! The paci in the drawer!! Quick!! Get the paci in the drawer!!!!" 


Turns out, Ethan is smarter than we give him credit for (and believe me, we give him lots of credit).  A long time ago, Husband and I, feeling badly about the whole rectal thermometer situation, decided to try one of those pacifier thermometers, hoping it would make fever-checks less uncomfortable for E.   The results?  Less than satisfactory in terms of assessing core body temperature.  So. Fine.  I packed it away in the vast wasteland that is the top drawer of Ethan's changing table/bureau.  

A long time ago, when the pacifier was still a part of Ethan's nighttime routine, but was forbidden outside of the bed, Ethan used to play this little game.  "Mama, I'm sick.  Going to take temperature," and he'd run to his bedroom, pull open his top drawer and feel around until he found the paci-thermometer.  A couple hits off that puppy and he was magically "feeling much better, mommy!"  As though the paci was some sort of baby-motrin salt lick and he really had some sort of mystery pain that needed tending to.  Ha.   

But I had to give him credit; he found a way to honor our "paci is only for bedtime" rule by never going anywhere near his real paci, and still somehow manage, every so often, to get a pacifier in his mouth, the stinker.  

Husband and I, in the midst of our "God, we are SUCH AWESOME PARENTS!!" reverie over the whole Paci Fairy score, had forgotten about the secondary paci-thermometer.  Turns out, Ethan hadn't.   We have no idea how often Ethan's been making use of his secret stash o' paci, but last night the jig was up.  

Apparently, once they got into his room, Ethan turned to Husband and said, "Daddy, I'm sick, I need the medicine-paci" and started to reach for the drawer.  Poor busted little man.  Quick-thinking (and hello? a liiiiiittle bit overly dramatic) Husband scooped Ethan up and brought him to the bathroom to brush his teeth.  While Ethan was scrubbing away and practicing his swishing water around and spitting, Husband came running out to me, instructing me, I figured out, to snatch up the "medicine paci" from the drawer before he and Ethan returned to the bedroom.  

It broke my heart all over again to take another paci away from him.  But amazingly, Ethan (who was not sick, by the way), didn't ask for it again.   This paci I just threw away.  The other one, the one he'd been using when we invited the Paci Fairy to come take it away, is saved somewhere in a closet (a little gross, but hey, there are people out there who save umbilical cord stumps and use their placenta for a bevy of interesting, albeit, gag-inducing purposes--I think I can save a paci, right?) 

Lesson learned?  Ethan may only be three, but that doesn't mean it's not hard work staying one step ahead of him.  Sneaky little man.  

Vintage Ethan, zonked out on the boppy, beloved paci.  And oh my head, when did he have 
chunky little thighs like that?!  

Ethan today (well, today-ish), sans paci.  Nothing sweeter than my sleeping baby boy


lonek8 said...

I am routinely outsmarted by my three year old - and she knows it. In fact, she doesn't even try to hide when she is beating me at my own game anymore. Frankly, I don't think I've been able to outsmart her since she was one, which could explain why I can't think of any examples.

Aunt Becky said...

Dude. That kid is freaky brilliant.

Becca said...

What a cutiepie! They are way cleverer than us. It is a problem. :)

Ohana Mama said...

oh my gosh, we did the "paci in an envelope" thing too, but we "sent it off to the babies of the world" (aka, daddy came by and picked it up out of the mailbox) and it worked!

BUT, I too have that top drawer that catches anything and everything in his dresser and we too *almost* got caught with a paci medicine giver. Thankfully I found it before Cam did.

Hilarious story. So glad Ethan seems to be doing well with the transition! (maybe even a tad better than mom & dad ;) )

Mouthy Housewife said...

we had to cold turkey our kid on those. Tough times. Smart kid you got there

jessica - tmh