As we have said farewell to the beloved "night-nights" in our household we have had some interesting moments. Here are a few things I have learned through this process that I wanted to share with those of you who are preparing to go through this process soon...
1) The first 24 hours are hell on earth. You will be sleep deprived, over emotional, and everything will be really dramatic! For example, Noah was acting up really bad that day and I had to issue three spankings and like 5 time outs. Instead of just attributing this to change and deeming it a temporary phase, I convinced myself that my son would be in jail at 18 all because I took his pacifiers away. I actually cried over this thought.
2)You will get desperate and will forget to feel bad for your child and instead threaten him with ridiculous things when you get sick of him crying and whining for his pacifier for the 100th time that day. Don't feel bad about these threats, they work. Exhibit A: It was bed time and I had sung to Noah and rubbed his back for 30 minutes and finally told him that it was now time for him to go to sleep. As soon as I left the room, he began to scream and cry as though someone was torturing him. I thought I would pull out the old "let him cry it out" method but after 15 minutes, my ears hurt and I was developing an eye twitch, not to mention Maia was trying to fall asleep in the same room so I intervened. I barged into the room and firmly warned him that the police were on their way to pick him up and take him to jail unless he stopped crying. He begged me to not let them take him, stopped crying, and fell asleep 5 minutes later.
3) Prepare ahead of time for the questions they will ask about where their pacifiers went or you will end up having to come up with some crazy story on the spot. Exhibit B: Ricky and I have always had this aversion to making our kids believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy for a few reasons that I won't get into here, but the most prominent one is that we feel weird about lying to our kids (just ignore the fact that I lied to Noah in point #2 about the police). So, we just had Noah throw his pacifiers in the trash instead of doing the pacifier fairy thing. Well, on the way to Bup's house on Tuesday morning, Noah had a light bulb moment. His face lit up as the thought entered his head and he said, "Mommy, Bup has night-nights for me at her house!" Oh shoot! I was not prepared for this. "No buddy, she doesn't. They're all gone," I replied. "Where did they go, mommy?" Quick, think fast! I don't want to make Bup look bad by saying she threw them away. I can't do the pacifier fairy thing. I can't lie...ummmm... "Well, they knew that you were a big boy now and they disappeared!" He was not satisfied, "Where did they go?" Ay yaiy yaiy, here comes the lies, "They disappeared and flew away to the babies who need them. They knew you were a big boy and that you didn't need them any more. They went to the babies' houses who need night nights, like Baby Ava."
This ridiculous lie, seemed to satisfy him and he was okay with Bup not having night nights for him. But the moral of the story is to BE PREPARED to discuss where night-nights go when they "die!"
In case you are wondering how he is doing now, I am please to report that he is not in jail and I know that I have not permanently wounded him emotionally as he is just fine now. He sleeps through the night, falls asleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, and is down to only asking for his "night nights" once a day. Woo hoo!