Sweet baby Matilda is growing up into "little girl Matilda" more and more every day. Pieces of her babyhood keep falling to the wayside little by little as her personality blossoms and springs forth, not-so-quietly announcing her independence. This weekend we gave up "paci". I took her to the dentist for the first time on Thursday, and while we have limited her paci-partaking to naps and bedtimes only, the dentist could see the beginning stages of it having an effect on her teeth. Nothing that can't be fixed by simply giving it up... preferably sooner than later. The dentist also suggested that, with another one on the way, it would be MUCH easier to have her give it up now than when she is already having to go through the changes of a new sibling, or potentially seeing her sister using a pacifier. Reluctantly, I accepted the challenge and decided that right then and there, we gave it up - cold turkey.
I glanced down at my purse with a little sadness, having stashed the "emergency paci" in a ziploc and now knowing it was obsolete. It made me sad. I knew I had to just approach this like ripping off a band-aid. There would be no ceremonious good-byes. She is too young to understand me taking it away or anything else actually happening to it. There would be no conversations of a paci-Fairy, or paci-balloon floating up into nowhere, or any other explanation. It was simply a magical disappearance and total denial that paci had ever been around. Sad!
I anticipated the worst. I pictured her screaming and searching and sobbing uncontrollably for hours. I had visions of me crying into the basket of collected pacis and praying outside the nursery where my sad child tried to comfort herself to no avail. But, alas! Thank you Jesus, we did not!
The first nap was okay - she was overtired, so she had already fallen asleep before I put her down (yes, that is cheating a little).
The first nighttime was the saddest. She did look in the usual spots for paci. Not in the crib, not on the ground, not in the basket...where? I couldn't even bring myself to say the word, so I just said "All gone, baby, all gone." I rocked her and she gnawed on her jammies a little. I put her in her crib and she looked for the usual collection of pacis that awaited her - not to be found. She got sad. I got sad. We cried, I picked her up, and rocked her to sleep.
Goodnight, paci. Goodbye.
And that was it! Since that night, she hasn't really looked for the paci or had any trouble sleeping without it!
Unfortunately, our timing was terrible...the next day she started really teething her incisors! YIKES! She had a horrific day of just not feeling well (and letting us know it) and of course I would have given anything to allow her the paci - but I didn't want to take two steps forward, three steps back, nor did I want to relive that first night of sadness again.
I hate that my girl is growing up... but I LOVE my growing up girl.
Changes are an inevitable part of life, and it there is so much reward and heartbreak that comes with each one. I thought it might be easier to go through Matilda's growing up since becoming pregnant and knowing that soon there will be another newborn to gaze at...but, I also have this pang in my heart reminding me that it may only get magnified as I will soon be constantly reminded (again) at just how fleeting these days of having "little ones" are.
Maybe it is the hormones talking...I know I am a sucker for nostalgia as it is...but there is just nothing better than staring at your child and being in the moment. I'm also excited with every new change that Matilda brings to our world. I wouldn't wish her to be a day younger than she is - as with every new day comes a new trick and a new smile that this girl brings me.
My days as a mother may be filled with gratitude for the moment and nostalgia for the past; but, one thing is certain... my happiness is about to be doubled.