Monday, December 27, 2010


Okay, here's the deal...I am about to reveal my darkest "mama-was-sleeping-on-the-job" secret. Well, at least the darkest secret of the moment. (I'm sure there will be others soon enough...) All I ask is that you are kind. Please hold your judgment. We can't be perfect parents ALL the time....

So here goes: Anna (who will be 4 in March) still sleeps with a nuk at night. Well, she did before yesterday. But, that's getting ahead of my story...

Anna has loved her nuk since she was born. Of course, that was fine when she was a baby, or even a toddler. But, later it was getting out of hand. We couldn't go anywhere without her nuks. So, we were absolutely positively going to draw the line when Anna turned three. But her third birthday came and went and Anna was still a nukie girl. We did pare down to just bedtime. The rule was that the nuks did not leave her bed (and we held to that - well, mostly).

Now, Anna is almost 4. Clearly it was time to get rid of them altogether. Once and for all. And Christmas break would be perfect, just in case prolonged bouts of crying kept the entire household up at night....

Somehow Santa even got roped into helping. He brought Anna a pillow pet and left her a note, telling her it was time to give up the nuks in exchange for the pet. (Obviously I'm not above using the big guy to my advantage.)

So it was decided. Christmas night would be her last with the nuks.

The day after Christmas arrived and I think Anna knew the jig was up. And clearly she needed one last fix. About 11:30 a.m., Anna went upstairs and 10 minutes later, this is how I found her - -

Now, I must admit this whole thing was almost as hard for me, as it was for Anna. It was tough to take away something that she so dearly loved. Even if it was just a bad habit. I felt like I was knocking the ice cream off of her sugar cone. Plus, I was forced to admit my baby had grown into a preschooler. (Of course that fact is obvious, but mama denial can be a pretty powerful force).

I begged Ray to be the heavy. He usually is around here. (mama = good cop; papa=bad cop). And I like it that way! But he passed the ball to me on this one. I was on my own.

Okay, okay. I'll do it....

As you probably expected, I did have a plan. It's been in the works for months. We were "sending" the nuks to Mrs. Gregory, Henry's kindergarten teacher who had a baby last spring. Anna was a big kid now, but certainly Mrs. Gregory's baby could use some extra nuks. This plan had it all . . . growing-up, sharing, Santa, recycling. Geez, we were even being green!!

So, back to the day of reckoning - -

When Anna woke up from her little nap, I gave her a few minutes to clear her head (but not too much time. I figured a few cobwebs may actually help the situation!)

I took a deep breath, and well, I guess the pictures tell the story....

Reality started sinking in for Anna right about here.

One more peek. Then....

BAM! Reality....

Anna and I made the trip to the mailbox together. And there was more sadness.

I carried the box. Anna held my hand. More tears, for both of us. But we persevered.

Back in the house, a little art therapy helped soothe the hurt.

A few times during the rest of the day, Anna simply said "mama, I miss my nukies." But that was it. At bedtime, (which I feared the most) she rolled around a little more than usual. I don't think she quite knew how to lull herself to sleep without her nuk. But soon enough, she fell asleep. Nuks gone. Over. Done.

I have to admit it was a little anti-climatic. I was ready with the plan and the pillow pet. But, I guess Anna was ready too. Ready to grow up and move on. Ready to be brave and strong.

And I guess if Anna can be brave, I will be too!


  1. Oh my dear sweet Anna, I don't think I could love her anymore than I do! She melts my heart!!

  2. What a wonderful picture story...
    It really had me laughing.
    I need to mail away the dreaded diaper! The third one has the thickest head of all of them! I question if it'll ever happen this time!

  3. Sweet story. We had a similar experience with the "puggy". My oldest would let them hang out of the side of his mouth like a cigar until the nipple would tear. One by one they had to be thrown away until the last one was left and it too became torn. We braced ourselves for what we thought would be a very tumultuous time but, like you, it was very anticlimactic.

    You had a very brave day. :)

    Becky Sue

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog, Dig. I look forward to seeing more of your photos in Picture Winter.
    Your little girl is so sweet and how great that you captured it all. Here is my not-so-great-mom-moment-confession My 4 year old still sneaks into bed with us every.single.night! I just keep telling myself that she won't be little forever so I'm going to enjoy the snuggles while I can.

  5. Oh my goodness. This post made my eyes wet when I looked closely and saw her sleeping with all of those Nuks touching her. How could you imagine being judged for this?? We all have to do these things and you did a wonderful job. It's hard!! But sometimes harder on us. Great job!

  6. Deb- what a great mom you are! Carter had his bottle til he was little over 2. When we finally took it away and replaced with a sippy cup we realized it was us more then him because he transitioned so well. Mallorie had her "nuk" until she was a little over 3. The nuke fairy came and took it and left her a plush fairy. Again, went much smoother than anticipated. Now Miss Gabbie, not sure what it will be for her. She was off the bottle before her first birthday.....she is fond of her nuk. that's probably it. And like you said, I think its more us that have the problem giving it up because that means there growing up.
    Sarah Pavek