No More Babas!
A “baba” is what Roman named his pacifiers (I have no idea why) as soon as he started naming things. And he loved those babas. I think they were security blankets and good friends all rolled into one. Somewhere between twelve and eighteen months we limited his baba use to naps and bedtime only; this way naps and bedtime were happy times, and so that he didn’t just wander around with a baba in his mouth all day (because he totally would have if we let him). But we finally decided that he was getting too old to have his baba when he slept, and his dentist was concerned with alignment issues if we continued to let him use it at bedtime, so we decided that when Roman’s last baba got worn out that we wouldn’t replace it. We had a few talks with Roman, and he and I would inspect his baba in the mornings when we woke up, and one morning we finally saw a little hole in it. That day we were heading to the WAP, so while we were there, I told Roman that he could pick out a new toy to replace his baba because we were tossing his baba before bedtime. He picked out this tub of little plastic safari animals, and I made him explain to me why he was getting new toys, and he told me that it was because we weren’t going to have a baba anymore. Then, when we got home I had him get his baba, and I showed him where it was broken, so we said goodbye, he gave it a kiss, and we threw it in the trash. He was doing pretty well with the whole thing, I thought, until it was time to go get in bed, and he asked me to help him find his baba. And when I reminded him of the new toys, the hurt baba, saying goodbye, the waterworks began. And he cried for quite a while, but I told him that if he went to bed and stopped crying that I would read a couple extra books before bed and that we would get ice cream the next day when we picked Marc up from the airport. So he finally calmed down and we read our books and he went to bed, but man, watching him try to sleep was like watching someone in some sort of detox. He would wake up and cry; he would thrash around in his bed in his sleep; he would scream at the top of his lungs and then fall back asleep; it was not a great night. I slept on the floor holding his hand for part of the night. But then the next day, he was fine. And he’s been fine every nap and night since. I have really been emphasizing that he’s a big boy now that he doesn’t have his baba, and big boys get to have their own ice cream cone; big boys get to stay up and watch movies; big boys get to climb in the car all by themselves. You get the idea. Because that first night was so bad, I was really expecting this process to take a lot longer, but he’s handled it like a champ. Just look how happy he was today getting ready for nap: