It is with great joy and a calmer outlook on life that I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, the "soo soo," the pacifier, the bobo, the mimi, has been put to bed. And not in our bed, or a bed anywhere near our house. It is GONE. And I know what you're thinking… "Don't get too confident Allana. That soo soo could one day come back to haunt you and then once again you'll be crawling around on your hands and knees looking under couches and beds for random pacifiers to sooth your toddler who at one time had the ability to say "soo soo" 89 times in a row."
Not this time my friend. Those days are OVER.
And why do I know this? Because it's been at least 4 weeks and just this morning my daughter looked at a picture of herself on the fridge with a pacifier (how did I miss this?) and said, "That soo soo is for a baby."
Related: How old is TOO old for a pacifier?
It is done. It is OVER. No more yelling to my husband like a maniac:
"WHERE IS THE SOO SOO? WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING EVER AGAIN UNTIL WE FIND THAT SOO SOO. WHY DON'T WE HAVE LIKE 700 OF THEM IN A DRAWER? WHY AREN'T WE LIKE THOSE CLEVER PARENTS WHO CLIP THEM PLACES. PLACES LIKE ON THE ACTUAL CHILD? I'VE LOOKED EVERYWHERE….ARGHHHHH."
So you'll notice the soother dilemma was less about my daughter actually using one but more about my husband and I never actually being able to locate the damn thing. Regardless, I don't have to deal with it again. In fact, every so often when I see a child sucking on a pacifier, I actually get a sad chill through my body.
So how did we do it? Was there a seven-step process involved? Did we attempt something new and different?
Well YES, to all of the above. And because I care about your sanity, I'm here to share with you today my step-by-step process to finally and forever getting rid of the plug, or really any "thing" your toddler is seemingly addicted to.
Related: 10 toddler types your kid will meet on the playground
Here's how you do it:
Step ONE: Know that the only thing keeping you from ending the soother reign is your own fear. Fear that your child will always be using a soother. Forever. This fear is REAL, but most likely unfounded if your child walks, talks and has the ability to use or at least identify a toilet. If your child can actually write "pacifier" on a piece of paper you need to get help.
Step TWO: Realize you have an event planned and have not yet booked a babysitter. Realize that every single babysitter you know is unavailable. Have friend who is hosting 'said event' to recommend a *new* babysitter who is lovely and reliable and actually works for her and is only babysitting because she thinks it will produce "brownie points." Make a mental note that this person hasn't babysat in about 15 years. Feel confident and reassured because she's an adult and is only being asked to chill out at your house for a few hours. Make additional mental note that a side job of babysitting sounds tempting. Leave cell number or any questions she may have.
Step THREE: Leave home and realize that you didn't tell her about giving your child a soother. Know that even if you called, you couldn't give her an exact description of where the soother is anyway because you suck at this. Assume that texts from the sitter will be forthcoming.
Related: Do pacifiers really cause problems with breastfeeding?
Step FOUR: Drink alcoholic beverage at party to ease guilt of more or less making a stranger break your toddler of pacifier habit. Get in immediate and intense conversation with a new stranger to momentarily distract oneself.
Step FIVE: Notice that it is well after bedtime and there has been NO texts about a soother. Check quality of phone and ask stranger to send text to be sure that phone service is working. Notice service is working. Start considering using *new* babysitters to break children of all unhealthy habits.
Step SIX: Acknowledge that a woman with no children and little to no babysitting experience did a better job than you at making your child forget her pacifier habit. Carry on 'soother avoidance technique' for 3 days. Do not for the love of all that is good in the world allow anyone to come near your house with a soother and do not use the term "soo soo." In fact, avoid using all "S" words until "No-more soother" download is complete. If you call your pacifier another name then the above still applies.
Step SEVEN: When other parent friends notice your child is no longer using the pacifier, do not make casual comment like it was an easy transition or that you "just stopped". It doesn't matter if this is true. We all need to lie to each other to survive. And besides, you're still potty training and no one can be that smug when in constant proximity to poop.
-By Allana Harkin
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Allana Harkin is a Canadian writer/actor who is best known to American audiences as Dan's Mom from Nick Jr.'s "Dino Dan." In addition to writing and developing shows for TV, Allana's published work includes the hit play "Real Estate" and many humor articles on parenting, most recently for Parents Canada Magazine.
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