before we had ben, and even throughout the last year, joe and i always had the intention of taking the nuk away around his first birthday. to be honest, i always kind of turned up my nose at people who let their kids have their nuks well into toddler-hood and thought "just take that thing away!" frankly, i felt like parents whose kids had nuks at older ages were just too lazy to go through the trouble of breaking the habit.
well, it's easy to think that way when you're not a parent or when you haven't gotten to that stage yet. transitions are tough. they're tough on the kids, but even tougher on the parents. i mean, i knew parenting was hard, but now i know parenting is hard. as i said before, bennett has been really crabby lately. between an ear infection, teething and a transition to a new house, stress levels have been high all around. i'm sure bennett is feeling that. i've found myself letting him have his nuk more often during the day (he typically only has it during naps/bedtime and sometimes in the car) when he's inconsolable and miserable. it helps. but then i feel guilty like i'm breaking my own cardinal rule. i hear myself justifying the nuk to anyone and everyone we're around. "he normally doesn't have this during the day," i'll explain. i know i'm just doing this to appease myself- i bet no one else even cares. but for some reason i feel like i'm being a terrible parent by "giving in" and "taking the easy way" (probably because i've been the judgmental person, so i assume other people are thinking what i thought).
i know this might sound crazy, especially to someone who hasn't gone through it first-hand. but honestly, sometimes it's not a battle worth fighting. not to say that it's never going to be, but right now, the nuk is a crutch i'm starting to feel OK with relying on in a pinch. no, bennett doesn't have his nuk all the time. in fact, most days it is only at naptime/bedtime. but, some days it's just a nuk kind of day (or a nuk kind of hour). and i'm getting over that. if it helps him by providing him some comfort, then so be it. if it helps me by keeping my stress level low, then i'm probably a better mom for it. the nuk battle will be one we'll fight at some point. he's not going to have it 'til he's 3. but now isn't the time. and that's just fine.
the moral of the story is that most parents are just doing the best they can. we need to be gracious with each other and gracious with ourselves.
|i got this picture from bennett's teacher at daycare with the caption "we have a nuk thief on the loose."|
apparently he'd stolen this out of another kid's mouth. awesome.