On Friday night, after much preparation, we put our daughter to bed without her “MeMe.”
Something she had gone to sleep with for 3 years.
For the week leading up to that night we discussed what it might be like to fall asleep without a soother. We talked about what she might do and that she might feel sad or cry; that it was okay.
We shared with her the magic of the “MeMe Fairy,” a Fairy who comes and takes the soothers to other babies and leaves children presents for being so brave.
She was ready.
But a half an hour in on Friday night and she believed the “MeMe Fairy” was a cruel, cruel toad who had taken her soother to another land where they boil and eat them. She painted a horrible picture in her mind and asked questions about the Fairy and her purpose, demanding to know her location, approximate height, and reason she hadn’t been rehabilitated from thieving soothers.
She tried everything to get to sleep; stuffing her hands in her mouth, her fingers, her hair, my hair, my nose, and the pillow.
And there was crying.
Lots. Of. Crying.
But I stayed calm and reassured her that she could do it.
At an hour and a half she fell asleep, mouth wide open, hands deep in her hair.
I was happy with that amount of time but I knew that the battle wasn’t over, we still had to get through the night.
And THAT’S where I earned my medal.
At 2am she began asking for her soother, and two and a half hours of begging between bits of sleep led me to rocking her in the chair and shushing her to sleep, reassuring her (and myself) each time that she could do it.
Once morning came, and she saw that she had reached the goal?
That was when I realized I’d do it all over again!
So we continue.. night after night. And it does get easier. She asks where her MeMe is periodically and wants to know why it’s gone, but night time has gone from taking hours to half hours and the midnight wake ups aren’t nearly as long.
I can see the light and it’s soother free.