pacifierNext week my daughter turns 4, and I'm dreading it. Not just for the usual Oh-my-God-my-baby-is-growing-up kind of reasons, but because it means it's time. Time to finally get rid of her pacifier.

I know. I know. It's long overdue. You don't have to tell me all of the reasons it's ridiculous, and bad, and how I should have gotten rid of that thing a long time ago. Believe me, I wish I had gotten rid of it long ago. But we didn't, and so here we are facing the date that I've told her (and myself) repeatedly that we will not go past without finally making the break -- her fourth birthday.

It's not going to be easy ... for either of us.

She's such a big girl in so many ways. In fact, the comment I hear most often about her from other people is, "She is SO much older than 3." She's quite articulate, extremely tall, and she has an older brother who she will do anything to keep up with. People have guessed that she's 4 or 5 since before she was 3. So there's a part of me that hasn't pushed the pacifier thing too much because in some (wrong) way, it does keep her a bit of a baby still. She only has them at home, but when she goes and gets her "greenie" or "purpley" (she calls them by their color) and snuggles into my lap, she's so content. It makes my heart ache to think there will be a day when those moments will come to an end. When problems get so much bigger than anything a pacifier can fix

More from The Stir: 7 Ways to Break the Pacifier Habit

We've been talking about how she has to give up her pacifier for some time now, trying to prepare her. But when she asks why, I honestly don't have that great of an answer besides the fact it will mess up her teeth and "it's not what big girls do."

"Why don't they make pacifiers for big girls?" she asked. I had no answer. Maybe there'd be less need for Xanax if they did.

It's also partly because we've been lazy that she still has her pacifiers; I won't lie. I know it's going to be hard, and she's been such a headstrong toddler as it is that I haven't been willing to fight that battle with all of the others we've fought in the last couple of years. And I know bedtime is going to be rough for awhile, and there's never a good time for that, and, well ...  we've frankly chosen the easy way out.

But it's time. It is. We've set this date in stone, and so next week, we're going to do it. Cold turkey is the plan because I don't really know how else to do it. We have some incentives for her planned and the promise of a party when the pacifiers are gone for good. Hopefully we'll be successful, but I can't say I won't be at least a little sad when we are.

Any tips for getting rid of pacifiers this late in the game?

 

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