So much growth has taken place with my little lady in the last few months and she absolutely amazes me and makes me incredibly proud of her. She almost has a couple months of being a preschooler under her belt now-which she is really enjoying. She became fully potty trained both during the day and at night which resulted in her wearing big girl undies full time and she said good-bye to all of her diapers and pull-ups. Most recently, she said good-bye to her BA’s-which is HUGE!
Now, if you don’t know what a BA is in our household, let me fill you in. A BA is simply yet another name for a pacifier. She started calling her pacifier a BA the second she could make sounds when she was an infant and the name just stuck. It has always amazed me how many nick names there are for a pacifier. Here are just a few of the ones I have heard before: Passie, Nuk, Binky, Nubby, Suckies, Num-Nums, Plugs, BOBO’s, Corks, Soothies, Bippe, and Bobby. Added to that list now, a BA!
Pacifiers are life savers to many households with infants and in, toddlers and in E’s case a big girl. Our daughter has always found her BA’s to soothe and comfort her in all sorts of different situations. The past 3+ years she has become very attached to her BA and would even rub the front of her BA with her fingers to help her fall asleep. She had all sorts of BA’s which she named and identified herself as: A moon BA (which even glowed in the dark), a silly BA, a cat BA, a giraffe BA, a Pink BA and a white BA…all of which became a giant headache for us as her parents and all hell would break loose for us when we wouldn’t give her the right one at the certain crisis!
For this reason, we had tried to coax them away from E on several occasions and we quickly realized ridding her of this bad habit was going to be a giant struggle for us and for her. I will admit, as her parents we were a big part of the problem. I for one was very weak as a parent when I would try and hide them or take them away and would see the tears flow and the lip come out and the tantrums start-it broke my heart and I would break and give them all back in a heartbreak. Being a SAHM I pick and choose my battles-and sometimes it was just easier and gave me a piece of my sanity to just succumb to giving her the BA. It was not easy. I think the hardest part was knowing that she found comfort in these things like nothing else and it hurt my heart knowing it broke hers when I didn’t give it to her. Like potty training, I knew that getting rid of her BA’s was something we would have to do on her time and she would have to do at her own pace. She’s never been a child we can force things upon. She is stubborn and very strong willed just like both of her parents!
I’m sure there was plenty of judgement on us when other people would see E, as a 3 year old, with her BA in her mouth. I have to admit that before I became a parent myself and wore these shoes, I was that judgmental person when I would see “BIG” kids with BA’s in their mouths. I would actually shake my head in disgust and then vent to whoever would listen about how I didn’t know what their parent’s were thinking still giving them a pacifier. Little did I know!!! I apologize for acting that way now. I must also say that it started getting a little embarrassing to us as well going out in public with a 3 year old so dependent on a BA and I think it started to get embarrassing for E too.
For example, I remember one day in particular, E and I ran errands and we were in the check out line. There was a family in front of us in line and in their cart they had two little girls. I believe one was around the age of E and the other was a couple years older. The older girl pointed at E and very loudly said to her Mother, “Look that lady has a baby in her cart” and very obviously pointed at E. Well, E happened to hear and see that the little girl was talking about her and she stood up in the cart, took out her BA and shouted, “I am not a baby, I”m 3”! Clearly E’s feelings were hurt because she began to cry and I could tell she was a little embarrassed.
This was a teachable moment for her when I had to explain to her that the little girl probably thought she was a baby because she had a BA in her mouth and big girls typically still do not have BA’s. I told her that the girl who said that was a big girl and she didn’t have a BA. I remember that E sadly put her head down and handed me her BA and said she didn’t want her BA anymore but then she started crying even more…and then a few minutes later she quietly asked me for her BA back to make her feel better. It broke my heart-and so I gave it back to her and all was good in the world! HAHA! Child attachments are harder then I ever imagined they would be to break. Again not only for the child, but for the parents too.
Most parents say they will bribe their child when they want them to do something and they are not willingly doing it. Our child has never been one we’ve been able to bribe. It just doesn’t work well with her. However, we had told her that if she gave up her BA that we would take her to the toy store and she could pick out something she wanted in exchange for her BA. We had been telling this to her for months and she just would not take the bait! This was really of no surprise. During these months though, she had been talking about how she so badly wished she had hair like Elsa and that they have hair like Elsa at the toy store. I kept reminding her over these months that if she wanted Elsa hair, then she needed to give up her BA’s. This didn’t work either, but the desire for Elsa hair continued to burn in her heart! Eventually I stopped talking about this option. It seemed like a lost cause.
I should know my daughter better then this though, because she’s like a dog, she doesn’t forget ANYTHING (Haha, did I just compare my daughter to a dog?)!!! Earlier this week, E woke up in the morning and willingly gave me her BA and said, “Here Mama, you take my BA. I don’t want C (the little boy I watch on Tuesdays and Fridays) to think that I am a baby.” I diligently took her BA and told her that was a very big girl and a good choice to make. She didn’t mention her BA to me the rest of the day except when it was time for nap. She had been laying in her bed for about 20 minutes before she called me and said she couldn’t sleep without her BA. I was feeling rather strong on this particular day, and reminded E that she had gone all morning without her BA and I thought she could try and be a big girl the rest of the day and go without it. I also reminded her of the reason she gave me the BA in the first place-that she didn’t want C to think she was a baby. She looked very sad and she started to tear up, but said, “Ok, Mama but will you lay with me.” So, I layed with her for almost 2 hours until she fell asleep.
When she woke up from her nap, I made a big production over her NOT sleeping with her BA and told her how excited I was and how proud I was of her. She looked so proud of herself, but also looked deep in thought. After a couple minutes of this pondering look on her face, she looked up at me and said, “Mama, does this mean I can go to the toy store and get my Elsa hair?” See-she did not forget! I explained to her that if she wanted Elsa hair, she needed to collect all of her BA’s and then we would put them in a bag and when Daddy got home we would all go to the toy store and she would have to give all of her BA’s to the cashier to pay for her Elsa hair. She looked a little sad, but said, “Ok Mama, I am ready”. So, we collected her BA’s and put them in a bag. When her Dad got home, she excitedly told him she was going to get Elsa hair and give her BA’s away because she was a big girl. We all went to the store later that night and Etta picked out her Elsa hair and very hesitantly handed over her BA’s. to the cashier. We walked out of the store (no tears, just excitement for her Elsa hair) and went home. Just like that another chapter was closed.
Although she’s doing far greater then I every expected without her BA, she still has been talking about them some. It takes her a lot longer to fall asleep at nap or she just doesn’t seem to be napping (you win one battle and always seem to take on another). She also keeps telling us that we need to find her something else that won’t hurt her teeth for night time (we always told her her BA’s were hurting her teeth in hopes this would rid her of the bad habit). We give gentle reminders that she has Lamerz (a stuffed animal she’s attached to) to snuggle with and comfort her at night and that we said Good-bye to the BA’s forever. She also has told us that she really misses her BA’s and has a couple moments of sadness but seems to get over it fairly quickly.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of E and how glad that we finally are rid of the BA’s. I have to say that a wave of sadness washed over me though realizing that this literally is the last part of BABY we had left of her. I also realized that maybe this is why it was so hard for me as her parent to get rid of them sooner and it honestly makes sense with everything we are going through. However, it’s time for us all to just let go and continue on growing. BA or no BA, I know that E will always be our baby girl. Growth and change is truly a beautiful thing!
This is E admiring herself and in total awe over her new Elsa hair and celebrating being such a BIG girl!
Thank you BA’s for providing my baby with comfort the last 3 years and for making things just a little bit easier on us as her parents. Not only did she depend on you, but so did we!
Good-bye moon BA
Good-bye silly BA
Good-bye Cat BA
Good-bye Giraffe BA
Good-bye White BA
Good-bye Pink BA
Good-bye BA’s-it’s been quite the journey with you!