Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Torn Between Big and Little

I have a lazy mom confession to make.

Evie is 3 1/2 and still has a pacifier.  I kept justifying her still having it by thinking: It's only in bed.  It's not like she walks around the house with it all day or takes it to Target with us. I knew, however, that it was time for her to say goodbye.

I decided that Monday night would be her last night with the pacy.  Seriously, it was time.  As Brad and I were getting the kids ready for bed, I offhandedly remarked, "You are so big, Evie. Tonight is your last night with your pacy."

Much to my surprise, her eyes lit up and she jumped on board with the idea.  I continued, "In the morning, we can go to the store and find you a little stuffed animal or baby to snuggle with at night instead."  She had another thought--she wanted a new pillow with a silky pillowcase.  I thought that was a great idea, and I told her we would go to the fabric store in the morning to find just the right fabric for her new silky pillowcase.

She snuggled down with Pacy for the last time that night, and when she woke up yesterday morning, the first words to her daddy were, "I a big girl now.  I not need my pacy."  She put it in the Peter Rabbit bowl on her dresser (the bowl that has sheltered four kids' pacifiers), and off she skipped to breakfast. All morning long she measured herself against things in the house, exclaiming how big she was now--taller than the bathroom sink, taller than the doorknob, taller than Daddy's desk. Funny how overnight she had grown up!

Evie has been to the fabric store with me many times, and she knows that they have lots of pink fabric.

She told everyone in the store that we were looking for silky fabric for a new "case" for her new pillow.

She had to feel every pink fabric we saw, looking for the silkiest and softest one. She knew when she found the right one.

She found another soft pink fabric with polka dots and asked if we could use them both.  How could I say no?

She carried it to the cutting counter . . .

 . . . and watched the clerk cut  the pieces out . . .

. . . then carried them to the cash register.  She was all smiles the whole time.

When we got home, she brought her peanut butter sandwich up to her room so she could help me make the new case.  In five minutes, the new case was under her head and ready for naptime.

Still all smiles.  I kissed her goodnight and closed the door.  How could this be so easy?

Thirty minutes later, I heard her calling me from the top of the stairs.  Her voice was plaintive, not angry. "Mommy, will you help me find my pacy?  I'm super tired."

This was more along what I'd been expecting.  "I'm sorry,  Sister.  The garbage man came today, and I threw your pacys all away.  I can't get it for you."

Cue the meltdown.  Her hopeful face caved into tears and true sorrow.  Her shoulders drooped and shook with her sobs and in the process, she just about broke my mother heart.

"It's okay, Evie.  You're a big girl.  You can do this."

All the measuring how big she was and all bravado of the morning dissolved with her tears. "I need my pacy. I not that big." 

When we got back to her room, I saw the Peter Rabbit bowl on the floor, its contents strewn everywhere, telling the tale of a desperate 3 1/2 year-old girl searching for her pacy so she could get some sleep.

I took her hand and led her back to her black iron bed.  "Do you want me to lay down with you?"  She nodded, and as I curled my big body around her little body on her tiny bed, she calmed down a little before she confessed, "I scared of monsters."

This was almost more than I could stand.  How could I take her pacy away from her--her source of solace every single sleep time for the past three and a half years?  She isn't that big.  She's still little, and she's afraid of monsters! I consoled her, and within minutes she was in a deep, exhausted sleep, one lone sad tear rolling down her nose.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that all of her pacys were safe and sound in a basket in the bathroom cupboard, hiding there until I could sneak a few into her file of keepsakes and memories.

It's hard to grow up--hard on kids and hard on moms.  Now that she no longer has her pacy, we are officially a house with no babies.
 And that makes me sad--super sad.

A post-script to this drama:  Evie went to bed last night with her new silky case on her new pillow without asking for her pacy once.  She did wake up twice in the night--once to use the potty and once because she was scared.  She stayed in bed next to me for almost an hour and then went back to her new silky case on her new pillow without incident. She really is big now.


  1. That is such a cute story. Thanks for putting into words what we have all experienced.

    Grown up kids.
    A house with no babies.

    A house with lots of memories.

  2. I lOVE her striped leggings!!!! I have never had a child that would take a pacy so this gave me some perspective. That single tear on her nose just about killed me.

  3. Awww! Taking away Logan's pacy changed his personality from the easiest going baby to a terror! But Miss Evie is a big girl! Love that girly!

  4. Its so hard watching your baby grow up knowing she is the last one, huh!?!

    Its good though, right??

  5. this is so tender. And so lucky that she has a mom that makes her such a sweet treasure case.

  6. Awww. I love this little tale.

    And Jen, she is so darling. It's crazy.


  7. that is such a sweet sweet story!!:)and i wish i could whip up a cute silky pink pillowcase in just 5 minutes!!:)
    no pacis to get rid of over here...but we are still working on pooping in that potty!!:/ugh!!
    have a happy night jen

  8. big girl!!! rough man, rough. we are gearing up for christmas for the binky parting. and good gried, will i please just go buy my child a bed to sleep in?! lol

  9. Wow, she's grown so much since I last had the chance to stop by! I know what you are going through with Evie since Ellie is also going through that in between big and little stage. She may be growing up fast but she'll always be a little girl in your eyes.