The day that we drove home from the hospital with The Boy, I recall stopping at Walgreens and I ran inside to buy pacifiers. We didn't have any at home and listening to him cry during the half-hour ride home was too much to bear...we needed pacifers, why had I not thought of that earlier?!
Over the course of a few months, and then a few years (and then, discouragingly, a few MORE years...), The Boy developed a certain affection for his "Nukky". He had multiples, wasn't attached to any certain brand and would accept any old paci. He wasn't particular, he just had to have one!
I recall night after night when he was a baby. He'd wake up crying and wanting his pacifer but was too little to put in back in himself. I'd be up over and over again all night long putting that darned thing back in. He just had a hard time falling asleep without it and would not settle down until he had it. When you are exhausted, you are pretty much a slave to anything that works and gets you a bit more sleep and we were slaves to the pacifer.
Cuddling with Grandpa
I didn't expect him to have the pacifer for too long and once he was talking, there was much discussion about when the pacifer would be going away. I was all for cold turkey, but my parents (who watched him during the day), not so much. We only allowed Nukky when he was sleeping or snuggling (not during play or TV), so of course, he wanted to cuddle all the time! And the ear rub would accompany pacifier sucking, he always had to be rubbing someone's ear.
I'd tried many times to get rid of Nukky, including whittling down the collection to just a few. We had a talk about how when he was ready, the "Nukky-Fairy" would come down to his room, take the pacifers and replace them with a present. He was intrigued by the thought of getting Legos for his pacifer, but he'd say over and over again, "Nope, not ready!"
The summer before he went to kindergarten he said to me one day out of the blue, "I don't need this, I want to give it to the Nukky-Fairy". Could have knocked me over with a feather, it really did come out of nowhere. The next morning when The Boy woke up, the Nukky was replaced with a new box of Legos. His last pacifer went into his keepsake box.
The next week my mom told me that she and he were cleaning his room and found a pacifer tucked away. She said she got nervous for a moment, that maybe he'd get excited and pop it in his mouth and then we'd be back to square one again! However, he just laughed and said, "Looks like the Nukky-Fairy forgot one!" and he threw it in the trash! Whew! After all the conflict and struggle, I guess he just wasn't ready until HE was ready.
Before Baby D was born, I made sure to pick up some pacifers. I bought a few in different brands because I wasn't sure which he'd prefer. However Baby D has only one pacifier that he will use. The others, well...if I try and put one in his mouth, he acts like he's choking and gags the thing out quickly!
Fortunately he doesn't seem to have the same adoration for pacifiers that his brother had. Yeah, he'll use it when he's sleepy for a little while, but once he falls asleep and the pacifer falls out, he's just fine and keeps sleeping on his own. I'm pretty sure Baby D won't have his pacifer until he's 5, please, oh please! I won't let that happen again!
Baby D with the only pacifier he will use