Saturday, March 21, 2015

Goodbye Pacifier?

Greta's transition to a bed has been more or less smooth. She doesn't stay in bed flawlessly, but she doesn't run around, and she and Lucia don't meet up in the hallway to squeal and wreak havoc. Of course, earlier this week when I went upstairs, I found both of them in the bathroom--Greta on the potty and Lucia holding her pacifier "so it doesn't fall into the potty." They were both being perfectly quiet, just sisters helping each other out when they were supposed to be asleep.

Greta's nap has been hit or miss the past couple of days, but it's always unreliable on the weekends. Even if she doesn't sleep, she stays in her room, playing and talking to her stuffed animals and dolls, so I'm banking on a viable transition to Quiet Time when she does eventually give up her nap.

What I hadn't foreseen with the big-girl bed switch was that Greta would take the initiative to give up her pacifier, her beloved pa-pa. Although she's closing in on three and a half, Andrew and I haven't had the heart to take it away from her. I've made occasional comments about how big girls don't need pa-pas, but I've put zero pressure on her to give it up. This week, however, Greta decided she doesn't need it anymore, and she's been leaving it on her bureau when she goes down for her nap and at bedtime. "I don't have my pa," she always points out. "I don't need a pa anymore." A couple of times she's retrieved it during the night or if she wakes up very early in the morning, but it really seems like she's making the break on her own--just as she basically potty trained herself. Easy little baby.

So I SHOULD be thrilled that this is going so smoothly--no hysterical bedtimes, no desperate bribes or hopeful rewards. Just a little girl growing up at her own speed. But I'm kind of horrified at the whole thing. She's my baby, and she's not supposed to be so self-sufficient. She's supposed to need a pacifier and her bibi and lullabies to fall asleep. She's supposed to be a tiny infant. Yet there's my little Greta, dashing from basement to attic in a dress-up dress, a plastic crown on her head, playing with Lucia in her bedroom with the door closed, having an elaborate tea party of some kind and talking in "pony voices," without one iota of need for me. (Though she's still pretty cuddly. She does love a good snuggle.)

So no, I'm not so happy that she's giving up her pa-pa, because I'm not ready for her not to be a baby anymore. Little-girl Greta is an adorable riot, so fun and funny and just too too cute, and of course I hold no nostalgia for, say, last winter, when most days I was driven to tears by a crazytown two-year-old thrashing on the floor and refusing to put on her shoes and winter coat. But seeing her in her big-girl bed, all tucked in without a pa-pa, wearing her My Little Pony pj's and snuggling a plush Elsa, is kind of too much to bear.

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