Bye bye, ba-ba

Yes, my son was a three-year-old with a pacifier addiction. So what? There are worse things, right? But it was embarrassing. Steve and I found ourselves apologizing for it to complete strangers who would ask if B & H were twins. “No, this one is three, but you wouldn’t know it since he still uses a pacifier like a baby.” Trying to shame Brandon in that way didn’t phase him. We tried everything except trying to get him rid of it.

I was going to cut him off cold turkey on his birthday so I never had to write that opening sentence, but we knew the Hawaii trip was coming up soon and I figured it would be nice to have on the airplane, and for calming down fits. Then, the day we came back I couldn’t take it of course, yada yada: always an excuse. So on our first normal day back from our trip, we went to the library and picked out a book about a pig who discovers he no longer needs his pacifier. And I read it to Brandon and told him he could have his pacifier for three more days.

I’ve found that communication is key to any relationship. If you want to be a good spouse, parent, child, employee, boss (you get the idea), you should share the knowledge you can to keep people informed. No one likes bad surprises sprung on them and I wasn’t about to rip the pacifier out of Brandon’s mouth and say “bye bye!” For those three days, we did a countdown each night: “Three more nights with my ba-ba,” then two, then one. Then, on Sunday night, as Brandon was getting into bed, he asked for his ba-ba.

“Remember? Last night was your last night with your ba-ba. You don’t need it anymore!” I told him. I expected a relentless crying fit, but he remembered our agreement and went to bed without crying and without his pacifier. The next morning I said, “how was your first night without your ba-ba?” and he replied, “I don’t need it anymore!” We rewarded him with a set of Thomas trains. Bribes are really pretty fool-proof around here. Last night marked his third night without his pacifier. It really wasn’t all that hard to break that three-year habit, I just had to actually try.

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