Thursday, August 5, 2010

When to stop being a baby?

Robert and I are struggling with N right now being very attached to his paci. We keep it mainly for nap times and bedtime, but lately he's been demanding to keep it in after he awakens. I try to put my foot down about it but I've been struggling with work/fatigue/housekeeping/etc etc to fight him over it. This morning was the last straw.

He refused to sit in a chair to eat breakfast, wanting instead to carry a banana around with him and take out the p-a-c-i in between bites. After battling to get him to eat half a banana in a chair in the kitchen, he immediately got down and screamed for his paci. (Which I had hidden, although not well, on top of the refrigerator.) I just got angry at this point, took the paci and cut the rubber part off with a pair of scissors. Hmmm, want to guess what happened at this point? Total meltdown ensued...

I'm tired of this battle over the pacifier. When he wakes up at night with his paci on the floor, he cries and cries until I get up and hand it to him, thus ruining my sleep at some point most every night. If he gets hurt or falls down, he asks for it IMMEDIATELY. I really don't know how much he gets it at school or at my mom's, but at home it's a constant struggle.

Am I being too hard on him? Should I let it go and let him be a baby longer? He's fixing to have his second birthday and I'm afraid he'll be that kid I see at 3, 4, 5 years old with a binky still hanging out of his mouth. Eww. Any suggestions on how I can handle this or get him to let it go?

(BTW, I have more paci's other than the one I had Robert cut up this morning. An emergency stash. Do you think I'm attached to it more than he is??)


Jessi Roman said...

Don't be hard on yourself. It's a difficult thing, putting your foot down. Just last night, I had put Naomi to bed and she wanted me to lay with her but I had already said no. She was so sad and pitiful, then came the tantrum when I wouldn't give in. I actually ended up going in my room and crying b/c she just wanted me to lay with her and cuddle, and I WANTED to, but I had already said "no", and had to be firm. I think it is VERY important not to reward young children for bad behavior (tantrums).

In your situation, perhaps you could try making a big event out of giving up the paci. Maybe as part of his birthday celebration you can find a way to make it a big deal and exciting that he is growing up and giving it up. Maybe "give" it to a new baby (not really, of course, but in his eyes), so he's passing it on to someone who "needs it" more than he does? I don't know. My kids all hated the paci, so I didn't deal with this, but Naomi did keep a bottle till nearly 2, and it was difficult to get rid of. :(

Don't worry, even at 2, I don't think its completely unheard of to have a paci, though I'd say it is reaching that thresh hold. Then again, in Biblical times, weren't children weened when they were much older... so maybe its ok to let them "be a baby" a little longer? As long as you are meeting his needs for comfort in some other manner, then the transition shouldn't be too terrible... maybe just at first.

Sue said...

I wouldn't worry so much. He won't take it to school with him. Sometime when he's in a good mood, make a big deal about him throwing it away...Let it be his idea, not yours...If you know what I mean. Then no melt down.