Max Stories Volume 3: "...on PURPOSE" - 3/6/06 

Index of Max Memories


A month ago, or so, we took Max's pacifier (aka "noopie") for what we thought was the final time.  

 I'll let Robin tell the story... 

"Max has used a pacifier since he was born, almost exclusively for sleeptime.  We noticed that with the use of a pacifier at night and during naps, he didn't suck his bottom lip as much during the day.  Thinking it'd be much easier to wean from a pacifier than his bottom lip, we allowed the use of one only during sleeptime.  

 A month ago, we thought it best to not replace his pacifier after it started tearing at the base (note: we hadn't bought a pacifier since he was about a year old, so this pacifier was quite old).  We explained to Max that the pacifier was breaking and that he would only have one more night with it.  

The next morning we had a good-bye ceremony for the 'noopie.'  We carefully placed it in a clear, plastic box and Max requested it be kept in his closet.  He seemed to be ok without it during the first couple of days, falling asleep almost instantly after lying down.  I should note that those were also some very exhausting days (somewhat intentional to ease the absence of the pacifier).  The third night began a long string of tossing and turning, partially sleepless nights for me and Max.  He began exhibiting signs of being scared and not wanting to be left alone during sleeptimes, as well as waking and crying/screaming in the wee hours of the night.  

Since my side of the family has a tendency to have vivid, emotionally scarring nightmares (i've heard them called night terrors, as well), I was really worried that taking the pacifier away when we did took away his ability to grab the pacifier and go back to sleep immediately after having one.  At three weeks later, he is still having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, claiming he is scared and wants a light and me to stay in the room with him.  

Max wakes up one morning after a particularly hard night of crying and being awake for 3 hours and tells me, "Mom, I sucked my lip last night.  I sucked my lip so I could sleep."  After some discussion, we decide that it will probably be less traumatic to take the pacifier away at a later date than to continue the current trend of bad nights.  I go out and buy a package of two pacifiers, which allows Max to have a travel pacifier and one here (see quip about first night sleeping away without noopie).  

[EDITOR'S NOTE FROM BRIAN: Robin didn't just "go out" and buy the package of pacifiers... she went out on a late night journey to about 6 Walgreen's, Rite Aid's, Albertsons, etc... before finding his style of pacifier!!!]

Being concerned about the manner of Max regaining the use of his pacifier, we devise a way to get the pacifier back to Max without openly giving it to him.  Presenting it to him as a reward for good behavior sets up a precedence that we don't want to fight later.  Telling him we bought another for him doesn't seem quite right, either.  A plan is made to hide the new pacifier amongst some christmas materials that are supposed to be repackaged and put in the attic.  

The perfect scenario would be for Max to find them while helping me repack the ornaments so that there's no association other than a stroke of good luck.  I routinely discuss rearing issues with the family, so while Max is off playing or distracted, I tell them of the plan in hushed tones (to prevent accidental hearing).  

All goes according to plan and Max finds the two "old" pacifiers shortly before naptime.  Max doesn't seem to be all that excited really and puts them on his bed.  Around bedtime, we do the usual nighttime routine.  As we're doing our hugs before lights out, Max shows the pacifier to Brian and I explain that we found the pacifiers in all the christmas stuff earlier that day.  Max supports my explanation with, "Yeah, we found the noopie on PURPOSE."   

So much for thinking I still have the freedom to talk when I think he's out of hearing range or too distracted! "


March 2006