At first, the pacifier (or as we call, paci) was a godsend. It was the key to calm, sleep and peace of mind. We felt lucky that our baby loved her paci since it was such an effective tool for comfort. And sure, the pediatricians, the blogs, the friends with kids stressed the importance of getting her off the thing by the time she’s 2, but like many first-time parents, my husband and I were way more concerned about quelling the tantrum happening before our eyes in the Trader Joe’s frozen aisle than whatever far-fetched scenario would greet us in the future.
Here we are in the future, and of course, we regret our short-sightedness. As our child becomes more sentient—and nearly 2 years old—the harder it has become to fool or convince her of doing anything she doesn’t want to do, and part with her paci is something she does not want to do. Now a toddler, she wields the paci like a prop, taking it out of her mouth to accentuate a point or blab with it in the corner of her mouth like she’s Popeye chewing on his pipe. Kinda like Chloe Sevigny makes smoking look cool, my toddler makes sucking on a paci look cool.
Fearful of being labeled “bad parents” at her 2-year checkup, my husband and I decided we would execute Operation Paci, in which we would strategically remove the target through a high-level combination of mind control, bribing and tough love.
The following is my seven-day captain’s log of the events that followed. Though I lived to tell the story, I warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart (or anyone in the midst of a similar journey).