I’m sure it is a familiar story to many families but it is a new one to mine. Over the Easter break, many of Phoebe’s little friends bravely gave their dummies up to the Easter Bunny (apparently he has many, I guess he breeds like a rabbit!). MY daughter though, wouldn’t have a bar of it. She didn’t get angry, she didn’t get upset, she did however state rather firmly that she would not be leaving her dummy for him and nor would he be taking it. Mother guilt set in for me, Phoebe is three and a half now, and even though no one around me was saying anything, I felt like she should have given it up earlier. It wasn’t like it was stuck to her at all hours of the day, she only had it for sleep time, but still, I knew eventually problems would arise.
I had plans set in place, I knew she wasn’t going to give it up freely, we would have to get creative and it may take time. I was planning on using the nail-biting solution, in turn making her dummy taste yuck, and if that didn’t work, I would start putting small holes in it. Neither of these were needed however. Instead, the stars aligned and the universe gave us the perfect opportunity. Instead of picking Phoebe up from her Aunty’s the other night after work, I met them at the park, this also meant that dummy was left at her house. The plan still wasn’t concocted until later that night when the dummy still hadn’t been dropped off and she asked for it. She sobbed and told me she need it, she couldn’t sleep without it and she didn’t know what to do. Seriously broke my heart.
I’s started to notice that after about 5 minutes of being asleep, the dummy would fall out anyway.
Aunty came over to drop it off, but we kept running with the story, until Aunty realised that Phoebe had in fact left her dummy on the floor after her nap that day. And so it was then that we told her our dog, Dakota, had if fact seized that moment and took the dummy. She didn’t believe it at first, it took some phone calls to other family members to confirm, she was upset but then it was like a switch was flicked. She started convincing us (more like her) that she was a big girl, she didn’t need it, “look how tall I am, I’m nearly four!” she told us and just when you thought she was thinking about something else, she would start convincing herself all over again.
And so it was, we tottled off to bed, there was NO turning back now. It took her a while to figure out how to actually go to sleep without it, you could hear her trying to work out what to do with her mouth and tongue, even her hands, but soon enough, she was off and snoring. I waited patiently throughout the night for her to wake (I’ve been down this road once before with her) but when she did wake, she simply asked for some water and went back to sleep.
Going to sleep is a little harder, but she’s doing a great job.
Since then, we have had a nap (which was a little more difficult but still no tears) and another night of sleep, with no waking whatsoever. I am so proud of her, so is the family. I never thought I would see the day when she wouldn’t need it, but it has come. I guess my girl is growing up and I guess you just have to do things your way. Wrapping her dummy up and giving it the fairies didn’t work for us, nor did giving it to Santa or the Easter Bunny. I guess as parents, sometimes you have to get creative and read the signs.
Dummy War won! Have you had a similar experience?