The wee little penis person has somehow managed to lose every single one of the 50,000 pacis that we’ve accumulated in our house since his birth.  He is a very particular little penis person and his one and only favorite brand is the Soothie hospital brand paci.  Once upon a time, you could only manage to steal them from the hospital before you were discharged, which we did with Nicklas when we sensed he was addicted to them.  However, this little penis person is lucky in the fact that they are now widely available pretty much any damn where you go.

And so this is my dilemma….do I go out and replace his beloved paci??  Or very abruptly eradicate them from his life.  No warning…..no slow start….just BAM!….make them disappear?  I’m not sure which would be more traumatic…..which would cause the most heart ache and sleepless nights…..which would make his head spin more and transform him into the evil demon that I almost always mockingly portray him to be.

I’ve never put a lot of stock in the fact that pacis interfere with teeth placement or growth.  I’ve consulted our pediatric dentist, who insists that bad teeth are something that is both a mixture of unfortunate genetics and improper dental care.  We brush his teeth already and I’m fairly certain we will be financing braces for both of our penis people anyway thanks to our combined bad teeth genes, so that’s not really the issue.  But I do believe that paci use impedes language skills.  Joshua babbles much like any other 18 month old does, but I’d like to think that removing his paci addiction will bolster his communication abilities both now and later on.  I’ve listened to children talk with a paci in their mouth and its positively mind numbing to attempt to understand them.  And I also recognize that waiting longer to remove this monkey off his back will make the transition more horrific…..for him and us.

The thing I used to love the most about the daycare(s) that Nicklas attended was the fact that it always felt like I had a team of “mom and grandma types” who’d been there and done that and were happy to point me in the right direction.  Sometimes they didn’t even wait to point me……they just simply said “we are going to start….weening him from the paci…potty training him…..etc” and all that I had to do was follow their fantastic lead and not manage to screw up all THEIR hard work.  They provided me tips and tricks to help with any situation I was unfamiliar with and I was grateful.  I was on THEIR timeline….and I never minded.  I was a new mom and without my own mom available to me, I was thankful that they TOLD me what to do next, in a very helpful and suggestive kinda way.

But now that I’m a SAHM, the timeline is all MINE.  Its up to me to figure out when and how and, frankly, I’m not sure I’m equipped to deal with that kind of responsibility right now.  I posed the question of our paci addiction dilemma on my facebook status today.  With all the kick ass moms that I know, I was surprised that there were only a handful of responses from them.  Most, like me, said to let them know if I found a tried and true method because they were facing the same issues. Some suggested the “paci fairy”….explain to the wee one that new babies needed his pacis and he would hopefully be generous.  While this is a wonderful idea in theory, my penis person is too little to be reasoned with.  Most days, I’m only 1/2 certain he understands what I’m talking about.  So to attempt to explain a “paci fairy” to him would be nothing more than an exercise in futility.  There were also a few men who posted nonsense responses to what they viewed as a nonsense question……and left me wondering how penis people get to be in charge of so many really important things when they clearly haven’t always got a clue about the importance of even the most mundane of topics.

To be honest…..those pacis aren’t just a soothing mechanism for HIM.  They are also very soothing to ME (and everyone else within ear shot of the tot on any given day), in a very abstract way.  Some may look at my ease of slipping that magnificant rubber instrument of wonderfulness into his mouth as a lazy way to shut him up without having to put in a whole lot of effort into the details.  And I will agree, to a degree.  Joshua has, since birth, been awarded the honor of being my “difficult child” and, as you know, sometimes with difficult children, there is really no rhyme or reason to their general grouchiness.  They just are.  And if something that simple can banish the grouchies, even temporarily,  I’m generally quite happy to oblige without feeling an ounce of guilt about it.

As for bedtime, there is nothing that sends him off to dreamland faster than his paci and his snuggly blanket……and for the record, the blanket only gets a stay of execution right now because, frankly, there is no good reason to eliminate it and its not going to cause his language to be garbled in any way.  But the wee penis person is quite literally calmed immediately by a paci in the nighttime.  A few nonchalant slurps on this form of baby crack and its nighty night time.  The sand man couldn’t do a better job if he tried.  We’ve had a few unfortunate mishaps when the paci was either lost or forgotten as we journeyed out in to the world, or stayed in, with the sleepy tot and I can only assure you of this one thing……those are NOT tense moments I’d like to see repeated.   And if the little penis person happens to awake in the night and find the damn thing missing and he is unable to locate it himself in a few brief moments…the violent outbursts that ensue are epic and not for the faint of heart or those who’d like their hearing to remain intact.

Therefore, I have many good reason for both keeping it AND abolishing it……..if I were to make the proverbial list of good and bad, it would most certainly be a tie.  And, as with most parenting thoughts and ideas…there is really no clear cut right or wrong here.

But I will say this….it would be NICE if there was a baby rehab that I could ship baby penis person off to….someplace with bland walls and bland food and several group meetings per day with former paci addicts where the merits of the addictions to pacis could be discussed at great length.  Where detox could be carried out with the authority of a Dr. Drew type and I wouldn’t have to participate in it.  I could visit during family time and stroke his hair and tell him how proud I was of him for fighting his little baby crack demons and winning.  And at the end of it all, they would call me to come and fetch my paci free child, who would run to me with outstretched arms and thank me for shipping him there to help him get “clean”……..

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