I was thinking back the other day about when my oldest daughter’s best friend was her passey (or binkie, plug or pacifier–what ever you call it at your house).
As a new mother, I remember being so thankful that she had it and that it was so soothing for her. It got us through so many hard times and long car rides.
I remember being terrified of taking it away from her. I knew it would be hard on her and also hard on me. I counted on that thing for long stretches of peace and quiet and child satisfaction. I knew I couldn’t let her keep it forever because it would start messing with her teeth. Plus, teenagers who use a binkie are, you know, weird. I had to take it from her before she got to this point.
I actually wrote a blog post on my old family blog that I thought I would share here. Below is most of the post from more than three years ago.
I’m sharing this as a thought on happiness, because it was one of the successes I had as a new mom. I remember feeling so satisfied after the ordeal was over that I had done this hard thing when it would have been easier to just let her keep it.
Read post below:
The passey (binkie) has been a very important part of Alyssa’s life, until yesterday that is.
That’s right. She is a big girl now. She no longer needs a passey. A year ago she gave up passies all except for sleep times.
I always told myself that as long as she was younger than three it wasn’t completely ridiculous that she still sucked a passey for naps and night time. Her third year is rapidly approaching so yesterday we did the deed. Here’s how it happened.
When she woke up yesterday I told her we could go to the store and trade her passies for some new toys. I suggested that we get some new friends for Kiwi (her BFF cat stuffed animal). She was excited about that.
We headed off for the Target which again, as it always does, disappointed us. Nothing there worth trading passies for.
So we went to Ross. I mentioned to the cashier upon our entrance that we were here to make a special exchange, passies for toys. The cashier was happy to be in on it. Then we went and scoured the toy section where she found and fell in love with a little baby doll that came with her own car seat carrier, a bottle, a toy and a change of clothes all for the bargain price of less than $10.
She decided that it was worth trading her passies for and we headed to the front.
We waited in line for quite a while (standard procedure for Ross). I kept asking her if that was what she really wanted to do. I wanted to make sure she understood what was about to happen. She really seemed to.
While we were waiting in line she looked up at me and said… “But I can still keep my yellow blankie?” (her favorite blankie) I told her yes, of course she could. (I still have my special childhood blankie, but I don’t sleep with it anymore.) I told her she could always have her yellow blankie.
When it was our turn we approached the counter and the cashier said.. “That will be two passies please…” and held out her hand. Alyssa put her passies in the cashiers out stretched hand, then took ownership of the baby doll and proudly carried it out of the store. We opened it when we got to the car and she was tickled to have it.
When nap time came around, she gathered her doll and scurried into bed. We read our stories sang our song said our prayer and then she quite calmly informed me that she would indeed cry for her passies. I then informed her that if she did, she would not be able to sleep with her new dolly and that was that. She didn’t cry.
When night time came around she did cry a little for her passies but again I informed her that she would lose her doll and again she stopped and settled for another sip of milk, then went to sleep.
So there you have it. Alyssa is a big girl now.
SideBar: You should know that last year about this time we attempted this whole process and failed. I was so nervous about how she would react and what our life would be like without passies. I attempted to tell the cashier my plan but burst into tears and couldn’t get it out. The cashier put her arm around me and told me that if she still needed it, she was little and should keep it. I still attempted it, but Alyssa started crying and wouldn’t hand her passies over. I cried too and we both left the store crying with passies in hand.
Then that same day talk radio host Dr. Laura had a caller asking how to take her passey from her two year old and Dr. Laura said to let her keep it, saying two year olds are little and need comfort objects. So we bagged that plan and instead just went to passies are only for sleeping, which was a good transition.
So this attempt was much better than our last, no tears from either of us.
Fast Forward Several years to today:
Looking back it seems so silly that this was such a difficult thing for me to do, but it was. Accomplishing this with out a total meltdown of our household brought me great joy. Anyway…if anyone out there needs advice on how to take away a child’s passey, I hope this post is helpful. It’s one of the best things I ever did for my child. She’s never missed it and as I was asking her about it the other day (now that she’s 6) I learned that she can’t remember even having one. So, all is well.
Here’s to happiness in doing hard things.