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.
chunky little thighs like that?!