Even with all of our plans before the births of our children – (attachment parenting, on-demand breast-feeding, baby wearing, etc) they both became “Bop Babies”. For all those of you unfamiliar with Motherfog lingo, “Bops” are pacifiers. We don’t know where this name came from, but it’s become such a household name, that we are always confused when people have no idea what we’re talking about.
While we did follow through with all of the aforementioned parenting techniques, bops were thrown into the night-time mix to help pacify in between every two and three-hour breast-feedings.
But, when Zachary was around six months old, we made a steadfast rule that no bops would be allowed outside of the crib (or car if napping). This rule followed suit with baby number two and has been high on the short list of “brilliant parenting decisions” made by the Motherfog child-raisers. We have often praised ourselves for this family law, as so many benefits came from it. Not only were we free from chasing after pacifiers all around town, and being stuck with photos full of plastic-faced cherubs, but its practice encouraged a desire for “crib quiet time”. Both kids welcomed a couple of ten or twenty-minute stretches of daytime solitude in their own beds to steal some precious moments with their bops and a book or two.
However, we recently realized a fatal flaw in our plan. When the pacifier is only allowed in the privacy of the child’s bed, the courage and ambition to go through the agony of taking it away slowly wanes. It sort of becomes a little secret, free from judgmental glances from public onlookers. Unless you find yourself entertaining a playdate in your son’s room and the pacifier is spotted. In which case I have not been above quickly covering up with,
“Isabelle! What are your bops doing in Zachary’s room? Silly girl!”
But, before you know it, you’re looking at your three-year old, all dressed for bed, and he suddenly looks like a college kid dressed up for Halloween in a “Baby” costume with a pacifier hanging out of his mouth.
I happened to google the issue this morning, and was stung by the harsh critics on the web – critics, of course, being other mothers who I am certain are the images of maternal perfection themselves – once you agree to look past the glaring grammatical and spelling errors in their scathing comments.
But, lets move past my hurt feelings from judgments of those whom I have never met. Of course, they only ruffled me because it’s true. I am absolutely certain that Zachary is the only kid in his class that still uses a pacifier at night, but the decision to take it away has never aligned with what feels like the right time and place.
When he turned one, I was five months pregnant, alone with him in Utah, working long hours, and attempting to star in a show. Not the best time…for me.
At 16 months, we brought a new baby sister home. Certainly not the best time.
At two, we were about to move across the country. Definitely not.
Last summer, just before he turned three, we planned to tackle the issue.
He broke his femur.
Need I say more?
So, while at the moment, we seem to be finding ourselves in some modicum of status quo (pardon me while I go ram my head into a two-by-four), it’s time to Seize the Day.
But, if we’re going to do this, why not go hog-wild and make it a bat-shit, bop-breaking bash, and take it from the 22 month old too?
This morning went like this:
Me “Hey, honey? How would you feel about getting no sleep for the next week?”
Me “I think it’s time to ditch the bops”
Husband “Um. OK”
Three minutes later…
“Hey guys! Daddy and I have talked for a long time about this. We’ve decided it’s time to say good-bye to the Bops. You are big enough to sleep without them now and they are going away. It will be hard for a few days and we are here to give lots of hugs and snuggles, but we know you can do it!”
Let the Games Begin!
A friend has a story she likes to tell about her first encounter with me. Apparently, I was amusing a group of people at a party with a story, got carried away with my own exaggerations, and cut myself off with,
“That’s not true!”
She has never forgotten it. It is true. I do exaggerate. It’s a family trait. But, as I have stated before on this blog, I will always fess up, and usually within the same conversation (or post). So, I’ve decided to add a “FACT CHECK” at the end of posts.
1.)The bops are not in the trash. That would be mean and heart-breaking. For me more than them, I think. They are in a drawer and will perhaps be bronzed like a pair of first baby shoes
2.)That was an exaggeration I will most likely not have them bronzed. That would be very strange, even for me.