Yesterday we decided to be done with Asher's pacifier.
(Actually, Ryan decided and I begrudgingly tried hard to see why this made sense on this particular day because yeah, I'm quite easy-going about such things, I'll admit it--I don't get all uptight about what the books or other people say about pacifiers.) (And yes, Asher is 3 and a half and still slept with a plastic thing in his mouth.) (Don't judge.)
So last night was the big night, if only on a whim, and so we prepared ourselves for a fight. We prepared ourselves to get up a lot. We tried to prepare Asher by talking about it throughout the evening, before bedtime.
He argued a whiny attempt at changing our minds incessantly for the last ten minutes before bed, his enormous blue eyes looking up at us, begging. So we tried bargaining and praising and convincing, etc...infinity...
But he continued to say things like, I don't want anything but my paaaaciiiiii. (And believe you me, it was so tempting to say OKAY FINE because he's the cutest little cherub with a nasal-y voice you ever did see.)
I carried him to bed and whispered good things to him. I put him down and told him that he's a big strong boy, just like his big brother and that I knew he could do it.
And then, after all that arguing and whining, he said, "You are right, Mommy." (With a little quivering lip, a big sigh and very sad Goodbye Paci eyes.)
Then he immediately went to sleep and did not make a peep all night long and slept later this morning than usual. True story.
I'm consistently surprised by motherhood. By parenting. By life with kids. We hardly ever get what we expect no matter how we try to prepare or not prepare and no matter how uptight or easy-going we are. All I really no for sure is how totally out of control I am no matter how much I try to control things.
I'm in no way an expert on anything. I mean, I allowed my boy to have a pacifier until age 3.5 (and honestly, I'm totally cool with that), but if I could give one piece of advice (even though I'm truly not much of an advice-giver, since I know that can be annoying) to new parents, this would be it:
Roll with it, friends. Almost everything in the early years works itself out in its own time, it really does. The sleep schedule, the feeding schedule, the potty training and the pacifying. These are simply small things when you look back. So trust your heart-gut rather than the books or even the experts and do your best to...well, relax.
I wish I had done that, from the beginning. And maybe it just takes time for us to learn to do that. But it's not laziness to relax a little. I think it might just be surrender--to life with kids, on its own terms. Of course it's important to remain consistent with discipline and all that, I'm not saying it's not. I'm simply talking about letting go and living out the process and trusting your heart-gut if it's telling you everything will be okay, even if it's not right now.
I mean, really friends. If I don't take on this attitude myself, I may not be able to handle it tonight when Asher has a complete fit over not having a pacifier anymore.
(Look at me, trying to predict the future again. My learning curve...it ebbs and flows.)
Heather writes at The Extraordinary Ordinary