Louis is almost three and he still sleeps with a paci. I would say it's my secret parenting shame, but I really haven't given it that much thought. He loves that paci and he sleeps a lot. End of story. BUT, his teeth are really starting to show the effect of his one true love and are pushed out to the point of really being noticeable. He totally has paci mouth.
The dentist set a do or die deadline of his third birthday, which is quickly approaching. We just had a relatively easy weekend without too much going on so I figured now was as good of a time as any. Reid turned three in December and gave up his paci at that time, so we've been talking it up for weeks and weeks now. My sister took Reid to the zoo right before his birthday and convinced him he should give his paci to one of the animals (by mailing it once they got home). For some reason he chose the dragon, which wasn't a animal at the zoo, but they went with it. In the mailbox went the paci addressed to the dragon and a short time later the dragon mailed a present back.
At breakfast Saturday morning we spent a long time talking about the dragon. Please note that Lou requested cereal for himself and a plate of grass for his cow.
Norah was in on the ruse and helped talk it up for the next several hours. There is no reason she's wearing a witch costume.
Lou is a champion napper. CHAMPION. He sucks at the basic life skill of eating and for a few months had a hard time sleeping through the night, but no matter what's going on he wants/loves/needs his afternoon nap. Most days he would sleep over three hours if I let him (I usually don't or he will never go down at night). When I took him up for his nap I took his three pacis ("one for my mouth, one for my hand, and one for my other hand") and put them in my pocket, saying we would see how he did before we sent them to the dragon. He fake cried (lots of noise, no actual tears) for about 20 or 30 minutes. He kept saying, "I need something to put in my mouth."
I went up to check on him and told him if he wanted his pacis back he could have them and just needed to pull them out of my pocket. He reached in but they were gone (safely hidden in my dresser drawer). I made a huge deal over the fact that the dragon must have come and taken them out of my pocket when I wasn't looking. Lou said, "he must have been really small!" He seemed satisfied and the fake crying stopped. I am not certain he ever really fell asleep, but at least he was quiet. I went to help a friend pack for a big move and on my way back stopped at the Disney Store and got a set of the monster trucks from Mater Tales, Louie's all time favorite movie in the history of his young life. I enlisted the help of BVZ and Norah and when I got home I put the trucks on the porch, rang the doorbell and ran away. By the time I parked in the garage and came in, Louis had gone to the door and discovered his prize.
He went nuts. NUTS. Like nothing I have ever seen before. He just kept screaming, "LOOK WHAT THE DRAGON BROUGHT ME, I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT." I would have paid a million dollars for that reaction. It was that awesome. He was so stoked.
They never left his sight for the rest of the evening.
He went to bed with little to no resistance and lined up his new friends to join him.
He woke up once at about 11:00 pm, a bit disoriented but just needed a quick hug and went right back down for the rest of the night. I had geared myself up for a long night of lots of crying, but there really wasn't any of that. It could not have been easier. He did not however, take a nap on Sunday afternoon, but did play in his room by himself for about an hour. I am not sure what I will do if he gives up the nap. Mutiny, I think.
Next stop--potty training. Something tells me it is going to be harder. (Me: "why don't you try pooping in the potty?" Lou: "Because I want to poop in your bed.")