Wow, I just realized my last blog post title was "Another Week". How exciting, that's going to attract a lot of readers, I'm sure. Haha. And this title? Clementine's Pacifier? No more intriguing than the last one, I'm afraid, but sometimes that's life. That's me, always looking for excitement in the ordinary.
Before I get to writing about Clementine's Pacifier, (I know, you are surely on pins and needles about that, but you are just going to have to wait) I wanted to make note of something else. This week, like last week, was beginning to feel like just "Another Week" when I realized it was the one year anniversary of something really important. Exactly one year ago, Ben returned from his last international business trip away from the family. He has been with us nearly every day for an entire year, even taking us to Denmark with him last year for three months. From before Jude was born, Ben has needed to travel nearly every month, many trips lasting two weeks or longer, while I've been stateside running things at home. I'm sure I've complained about Ben's traveling schedule enough in real life that I don't really need to spend any more time complaining about it on here to you. Suffice it to say that we are very, very thankful that crazy schedule is done with. It took us a few months to get used to living with each other again, I admit. In some ways it was kind of like the first year we were married- "who is this person in my life and why is he/she trying to tell me what to do?" Anyway, it sure is nice now to wake up in the middle of the night without panicking for a split second, wondering who the stranger is in my bed. I'm not joking.
Also news this week: Clementine has bid farewell to her pacifier. Most of my kids took a pacifier, actually all of them besides Cate, Grace, and Jude. Those three sucked various fingers or thumbs instead. I should have probably written a post on here celebrating when Jude stopped sucking his thumb, because that was a much bigger achievement. And, I am not 100% sure he has stopped completely. As of a couple of months ago, I occasionally noticed it in his mouth when I went to wake him up in the mornings, and could see that it was wet and wrinkled. I suppose only a mother could find something like that endearing, but I did, and do. Jude, who is my cuddliest, snuggliest, snuggler, was just the sweetest little thumb sucker. He loved taking something soft and fuzzy, like worn, frayed strands of his night-night; or a soft cozy toy; or, in a pinch, his own eyelashes, and softly touch them while sucking his thumb. He called whatever it was his "tickle", and really, anything would do. A velvety leaf brushed up to his cheek, a scrap of velvet fabric, his precious night-night that became so frayed that only a strand or two of the threads remained, but were held lovingly up to his cheek while he contentedly sucked his thumb. Ah, Jude.
But I was writing about Clementine. I decided she was much too attached to what we call her "paci". She calls it "Boppy." Anyway, it was getting to the point where she wanted it in her mouth all day long. When it wasn't in her mouth she asked for it. When it was in her mouth, she still talked about it. She talked to it. She made up songs about it. I'd get her up in the morning and her arms would be filled with night-nights (she loves those, too) and three pacifiers, unwilling to part with any of them. She'd invent silly sayings about her Boppy and repeat them all day long, like, "Hi, Boppy!" or "Uh-oh, Boppy!" and "Boppy, Mama? Boppy, Dada? Boppy, Cate? Boppy, Evie?" and, the funniest of all, when we were driving in the car, she said suddenly, as if it had just occurred her, and as if she hadn't been talking about it of the the last ten minutes of the drive, "I know! Boppy!"
Anyway, we were all getting a little tired of the Boppy saga. Making sure she always had one was getting annoying. And, my other kids said good-bye to the paci by 18 months of age. I don't know why I delayed it with Clementine. Maybe it was the same thing as Jude's thumb. Her attachment was just so adorable. Anyway, the other night, I told Clemmie we were going to say bye-bye to Boppy. "No more Boppy."
Her face crumbled up and she looked like I said I was taking away her best friend. Which, I guess I kind of was, in a sense, but no child should have a pacifier as a best friend. It just is not a worthy companion to put all your time and thoughts and conversation into. When your best friend is a pacifier that you sing songs about, it is time for Mama to intervene.
She recovered remarkably quickly after I told her Boppy would be no more. I think she went to bed without crying that night, though she may have fussed for a couple of minutes. By the way, I have always had a pretty easy time ridding kids of the pacifier. Usually after one nap or one night sleep without it, they pretty much forget about it. I'm always more worried about what the protesting will be than what it actually ends up being.
So, the next morning I got up Clementine, marveling at how well she survived the night without Boppy. But normally, first thing in the morning it's all she wants to talk about, so I was curious how that would go. I got her out of her crib and she gave me a huge smile. "Boppy gone."
"Yes, Clemmie, Boppy gone."
"Boppy gone, Mama."
"Yes. Bye-bye, Boppy."
"Yes, Boppy is gone."
Such go conversations with an almost two year old. I figured her father deserved to take part in such enlightening conversations as much as I did, so I suggested, "Go tell Daddy!!"
Running to the foot of the stairs excitedly: "Dada! Dada! Boppy gone!"
"Yes Clemmie. Boppy is gone."
"Ohhhh...." like she had just heard this piece of information of the first time. "Boppy gone."
"Boppy gone, Dada. Boppy gone. Boppy gone."
Thinking I could distract her, I said, "Go wake up Cate and Grace!"
She ran to the bedroom, and shouted "Cate! Grace! Boppy gone!"
"Boppy is gone???"
"Yes, Boppy gone."
So, while I guess she is no longer addicted to her pacifier, we still talk about it a lot. An awful lot. We talk about her paci and it's gone-ness All. Day. Long.
I love this age. So. Much.