Pacifier Conundrum


I was the mom that silently passed judgement on any mother that allowed her child to have a pacifier past 6 months.

It was pretty high up there when I was on my high horse.

My first two children had them until they reached 6 months and I snatched them away after reading every parenting book, and reread what is best for your child and what will rot their teeth.

I offered unsolicited advice to many in my young parenting days about how a pacifier should be gone at 6 months and cast a raised eyebrow when I saw a child with one.

Then, I became the mom of a sweet little Eli. Shame on me for getting on my high horse.

Eli was born premature and addicted to drugs when we met him and he needed comforted.  Since he entered our lives rather quickly and was not born from my loins, comforting him with the breast wasn’t an option. He clung on to his pacifier at first suck.

The “Paci” as we referred to it helped him through tremors and drug withdrawal and then later as he grew through many infections and treatments.

Before I knew it, he was 3, and still had a pacifier.

We were anticipating an eye surgery around age 3, so I justified him keeping it as part of his nap and bedtime routine until after the surgery, so it would comfort him.

He was so cute. When it was time for bed, he would go to where we kept it. After he brushed his teeth and took off his glasses, he would reach in with a huge smile and pop it in his adorable little mouth.

It really wasn’t a big deal, but I was dreading the day we took it from him.

My husband’s daughter had a pacifier. On her 3rd birthday, they sent it up in the sky attached to balloons. I was trying to figure out what we should do when it happened, the Pacifier Conundrum.

After a long day, and a frustrating bedtime routine with the boys, we went upstairs to read books and pray. Our college age son, affectionately referred to as Bubba in our house, had just returned to college that day from a long 5 month summer/pandemic at home. The little boys were missing him and frustrated, I had forgot to grab the pacifier and so had Eli.

As I grabbed his Mickey Mouse blanket and kissed him and told him to not let the bed bugs bite, he looked and me and made that ever so cute sucky noise.

I thought to myself……THIS IS THE MOMENT!!!

I looked at him and said, Eli I don’t know where the paci is? (I know this is a lie, and I have repented). I told him we would look for it in the morning. I walked downstairs anticipating to hear him crying through the monitor, and nothing.

When my husband came down from tucking out 6 year old in bed, I told him about the paci and asked if it could really be this easy. HE emphatically said NO!

The next morning when Eli came downstairs, he declared in the only way he knows how, that Bubba (then insert sucky noise); he thinks his brother took it with him to college, and we are totally ok with that, hopefully by the time he returns home for a visit the pacifier conundrum will be a thing of the past.

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Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially adding new titles to our names in 2022- Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa). My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand. I love being part of the team at Dayton Mom Collective.