Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Withdrawal symptoms

We are going through pacifier withdrawal here at The Happy Ones.

Christina, Natalie's OT, and I had been talking about switching her pacifier to a larger one. This is one area where I have really let things slide, being too lenient with Natalie (I should have done this more than a year ago...2 years ago?) Natalie is still using a 0-3 month pacifier. I have offered her a 6-month pacifier on several occasions, and she takes a chomp and then throws it away and cries until I give back the small pacy.

Yesterday while I was shopping with Konrad during Natalie's therapy, I picked up some new 6-month pacys for him and decided to get some pink ones too (for the only one in the house who would use a pink pacy). After we got home, I introduced the vile object to her and she was not amused.

But Tom and I have decided to give it a week to see how she does.

Last night she cried for about 30 minutes in her crib before going to sleep. I went in about half way through to talk to her (and to explain what was going on to Lukas). Thankfully she did calm down a bit after I talked to her and then went to sleep about 15 minutes later.

Today after lunch, she was once again not amused with the larger pacy option that she is given. She chooses to use no pacy instead of using one that she does not like (she actually throws the pacy out of her crib). Christina and I discussed this as a possible outcome...she may wean herself from the pacy in this way, which I would not be opposed to. I would also be ok if she wanted to use the pacy for another year or so. I just don't want her to be 6 and using a pacy...one time at her ophthalmologist's office, there was another family there with a special needs girl who had to be 6 years old and she had a pacy clipped to her bib (two things I wouldn't like to see for Natalie!) She was walking around and playing, but no speech. I know Natalie is capable of more, so it's Tom and my job to help her achieve more.

In a typical "I haven't done enough for my child" mom guilt trip, I wonder if this is one of the reasons she's not speaking yet. Any pacy will shape the child's palate, and Natalie already has a very high, narrow palate. A larger pacy might have helped shape the palate better for speech. Not using a pacy at all might help her speak more. Or she may just be programmed to not speak. Only time will tell.

But we're going through pacy de-tox right now (except for Konrad...he's happily chomping away on his new favorite pacy). The good news is that Natalie only took about 15 minutes to settle down for a nap today.

My mommy motto for situations like this is "whoever has the strongest will wins." We'll see who wins this battle...Natalie really loves her pacy. Have I conveyed that to you strongly enough?

And then I think...if Natalie were a typical child, I would probably be working on taking away the pacy altogether at about this age, so why don't I have higher expectations for her and expect that she will do just fine in a few days with no pacys at all?

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