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.