I knew going on The Talk that I was going to get spanked, and I did. Jo Frost, known to most a the Supernanny, was a special guest on the show today, offering moms advice on dealing with particular problems with their kids. Through a fellow mommy blogger, the incredibly prolific Jennifer James (Jen’s List), I was introduced to the fabulous producer of The Talk, Ann Marie, who was the powerhouse behind the View, Regis & Kelly and many other highly successful talk shows. I volunteered to go on the show to share my struggle of getting my 3-year-old son to give up his pacifier.
It started innocently, in fact on the advice of my lactation consultant, who suggested a pacifier to help sooth my son as a newborn. It worked. He stopped crying immediately, and soon he would drift off to a peaceful sleep with his pacifier in his mouth. After the pediatrician said he no longer had a physical need for sucking at three months, I tried to pry it from his mouth. He wasn’t having it. He wailed until I gave it back. And so this continued, month after month, until it became year after year.
I have tried, and tried hard to simply pluck my son’s beloved binky from his mouth and force him to give it up cold turkey. I have tried weaning it from him. I have tried reasoning with him, and having others, like his pediatrician, reason with him and tell him that he’s too old for a binky and he must give it up. I read him a book about the Pacifier Fairy and told him that a little baby somewhere needed his pacifier. None of it worked. Without his binky he refused to eat, nap or sleep at night. He threw terrible tantrums and would whine and cry and demand his binky for hours and hours on end. He would act out in ways he had never acted out before — hitting, kicking, even biting.
So I gave in. I rationalized that he was not emotionally ready to give it up. that the day would come that he would set it aside and no longer want it. Didn’t happen.
I showed Jo a video tape of my son with his pacifier in his mouth, refusing to give it to me and hiding his face when I tried to take it. She shook her head and sighed. Then she let me have it.
I was not taking control, and I was doing a disservice to my son. She explained how his mouth and teeth were being affected by the pacifier, and that he needed to be told, not asked, to give it up. She gave me ideas on how to pack up the pacifiers and send them off to the Binky Fairy never to be seen again. She was adamant. He was too old to have a binky and it was detrimental to his dental development. I must take immediate action.
“When are you going to do it?” she pressed.
“Tonight!” I responded.
And I did. When I got home, I took away my son’s pacifier. I told him about the Pacifier Fairy coming to take all the binkies away. It will be a chore because they are all over the house. I know I am in for some bad behavior and acting out, but I also know I must steel myself up for it because it is for my son’s own good.
I just wonder when I will get another good night’s sleep and have my calm, contented, angelic boy back again, without a pacifier in his mouth.
Stay tuned in for updates!
* After Thoughts: The last half of the show ended up being pre-empted on the East Coast due to President Obama’s presidential message. So my mom and dad missed seeing it live, which was okay, since not only did I look like a whale (the camera adds 50 pounds, right?), but I am not too sure I want Mom seeing that video of Stephen throwing a tantrum when I take his binky. I am going home for the holidays, and I don’t her and dad to worry its going to be a preschooler screamfest our whole visit! Actually, I think Mom has a pretty good sense of humor about it all. When I told my mother I was going on the show to get advice on a parenting problem I was having with Stephen, she said, “Just don’t blame it on your mother!”