Difficult things are looming on the horizon with Lucia. There are four major changes we need to make, and I’m dreading them. Well, that’s not accurate. I’m dreading two of them, the two that have the potential to disrupt our fragile nighttime peace and upend our luxurious ability to both put Lucia to bed with little hassle and bid her goodnight until the morning with nary a peep heard in between.
The biggest thing we have to do is get rid of the pacifier. She is more attached to the paw-paw than ever, having quickly wised up to my attempts to distance her from it a few weeks ago. For a day or two she went along with my requests that paw-paw “take a rest” while we played, and she’d forget about it while she sat at the table to eat. Now paw-paw can’t be out of her sight. She carefully places it alongside her plate, or arranges it on top of Bibi, while she’s eating; and she’ll only rarely put it aside while we’re playing. I’ve never even attempted getting her to sleep without it. Paw-paw is a vital part of her comfort ritual, so closely linked to her required safety totem of Bibi that she discusses them together as one thing: Bibipawpaw.
All this is to say—yikes. If she flips out because she can’t find paw-paw for one second, I have no idea what she’ll do when she can’t have paw-paw at all. It is going to be bloody. Really bloody. And I’m terrified that this is going to both wipe out naps altogether and decimate her stellar sleep.
As of yet, I have no strategy other than just…not thinking about it. I’ll cut out the daytime paw-paw use first, saving naptime and bedtime for last. But wow. This is the one that makes me break out in a cold sweat.
The other biggie is transitioning her to a toddler bed, but I’m really in no rush to do this. She’s not ready yet, and we’re already planning to buy a crib for Greta, so my plan to have only one crib in our apartment is already shot. This, too, has the potential to disrupt/destroy sleep/life as we know it.
Third is potty training. Again, I’m in no hurry, though it definitely seems like she’s ready to start. This will be hard, but I’m not dreading it. Indeed, I’m counting the minutes.
Fourth is the bottle. For some ungodly reason I still give Lucia milk in a bottle before nap and bedtime. For a long time we didn’t do this. Then I decided she needed to drink more milk and the way to get her to do that was to give her a bottle. And it worked; she was drinking ten ounces of extra milk a day. Lately, though, she usually takes just a couple of sips and says “Finished!”, so I think we’re both kind of done with this.
The bottle is the low-hanging fruit, so I’ve jumped in with this one. Today I gave her milk in a new sippy cup, calling it the “new milk” and acting like nothing was wrong. Lucia looked at the cup like it was a glowing, alien object, took a couple of tentative sips, and declared herself “Finished!” She didn’t go right to sleep at naptime, but she eventually did, and bedtime went off without a hitch. She might rebel a little in the next couple of days; we’ll see. For now, we’re off to a good start.
What’s next? Surely the paw-paw has to be the next target. And I will offer a substantial reward to anyone who steps up and offers to do this for me. If ever there was a time to outsource parenting, this is it.