Tag Archives: driving me crazy

17 Reasons Why Toddlers and Puppies are EXACTLY the Same

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  1. They both like to put inappropriate things in their mouths
  2. They both like nuks and blankets
  3. They both like to dig through the garbage
  4. They both like to unroll the toilet paper from the roll
  5. They both like to eat food off the floor
  6. They both require me to clean up their stinky poops
  7. They both steal things that don’t belong to them
  8. Neither of them understands boundaries
  9. They both impede getting out the door
  10. They both require you to close all the doors to all the other rooms
  11. They both like to rip paper into tiny, tiny pieces
  12. They both move methodically from prohibited item to prohibited item
  13. Neither one can be left alone unsupervised
  14. They both respond to the same commands – out, stay, leave it
  15. They both get ridiculously messy
  16. They both see an open lap as an unequivocal invitation to sit in it
  17. They both invoke hysterical laughter, which combined with their cuteness, means you can’t stay mad at them for long

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Gratitude

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For me and many people, the month of November is a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for. A time to count the blessings that have been bestowed upon us over the last year. Something about THANKS-givin’ (as my friends from the South would say) does that to a person.

There are moments, okay some whole days, where I’m just so frustrated with my kids’ belligerent behavior, sassy attitudes, the mess, the lack of organization, the mounds of laundry and the overall list of things to do.

And then I remember the premise of a book that my BFF recommended, which is, this is the life I asked for. This is the life I wanted. I wanted a house I could call my own. I wanted a big yard with room to run. I wanted a husband and children. I wanted a family. And I got it. AND, those things come at a cost — yard work, lawn mowing, home improvements, spending money, and oh yeah, RAISING kids.

Kitchen table or craft table? Don't forget the baby and its bottles!

Two coats, four gloves, two pairs of boots, a backpack, a scarf, a hat and a piece of play broccoli!

Books, books, babies, books, baby clothes, books.

Just more typical mess.

For the past 12 months when I feel like I’ve reached my limit I try to remember to take a breath, pause and remember that this is what I wanted. And I’m grateful.

I am thankful for:

  • Girls pulling each other’s hair
  • Girls pushing and hitting each other (usually the small one hitting the big one)
  • Girls pile driving one another (usually the big one pile driving the small one)
  • Girls fighting over toys
  • Girls shrieking, screaming and making the most annoying mouth noises (gah, where do they learn that!??)
  • Girls invading each other’s personal space
  • Cleaning food off the floor after EV-ERY meal (uugh, I think this is my most hated parenting task)
  • The utter disaster of my living room
  • The utter disaster of my older daughter’s room
  • The mad rush of getting two lazily playing, daydreaming girls dressed, fed and out the door on time
  • The annoyance of realizing you bought the next season’s clothes in the wrong size (Why didn’t I anticipate Bean would be in 3T winter clothes when she’s been in 2T since last spring!!?) — and then having to switch over her entire wardrobe. Again.

I am thankful for all of these things because they mean that I have two healthy children and a happy home. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the minutia; by things that don’t really matter. But when I do that, I lose sight of that fact that all of these things mean that I have what is most important to me.

And I am grateful.

A Different Kind of Terrible

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I started this post over two months ago and I never finished it. Initially I entitled it “Way More Terrible.” And it’s about Bean. And her terribleness compared to Monkey’s. But rather than being way more terrible than Monkey’s foray into the terrible two’s, I’ve realized that she’s already mellowed some after only two months, and that she’s really not way more terrible. She’s just different.

Monkey is high energy. I can handle high energy. I can do high energy all night long standing on my head. I rock high energy.

When Monkey was in her “terrible twos” I remember thinking she was pretty terrible.

In retrospect, she wasn’t that bad.

Because Bean is high energy. Bean is busy, busy, busy, combined with extreme willfulness and independence. Emphasis on extreme.

She’s just not easily distracted. She is unusually focused and determined. And we could see that about her even when she was a little baby.

As an infant she could be very difficult to console. While it took awhile for her to get worked up, when she did, she was MAD. She was just very intent on being really p*ssed off!

I distinctly remember being totally bewildered during these intense crying fits as she continued to scream her head off even after I picked her up, shushed her, swaddled her, bounced her and showed her a stunning and magical array of blue elephants. Finally, I would be like, “Dude, I’M HOLDING YOU. Do you SEE ME, holding YOU?” Which didn’t work either.

Honestly, she’s been like this since the SECOND she was born. Literally. She was born, she screamed, I got to hold her for a minute during which time she was stunned into silence … and then commenced screaming again. And then the nurse took her to clean her off and she SCREAMED the entire time. I think it took that nurse like 20 minutes to do the APGAR, handprint and footprint her, and then even after I got her back, she continued to cry and cry. Major. Stress Hormones.

So yeah. The whole introduce a new toy to distract her from the toy you just took away? Didn’t really work for her. Needless to say, the whole introduce a new activity to distract her from the activity you don’t want her doing works equally well. That sofa she’s bouncing on? That chair she’s climbing? You’re gonna have to physically remove her from the room and lock her up somewhere. Because when you ask her nicely to stop what she’s doing, she looks at you and nicely responds back, “No.”

And that very specific toy that she’s looking for? Well another pink plastic toy pacifier will just not work. She doesn’t want the HARD PLASTIC one, she wants the SOFT PLASTIC one. WHY DO YOU KEEP SHOVING THIS CLEARLY INFERIOR HARD PLASTIC TOY PACIFIER IN MY FACE? Excuse me while I lay crumpled and sobbing on the floor.

I’ve learned that I just need to let her go. When she’s reached that point I don’t try to console her because the more I try to talk to her, the more angry she gets. She’ll just continue shouting “NO!” at the top of her lungs. If I try to empathize with her? Forget it. If I offer her a hug when she’s angry? She doesn’t want any of that either. She’d rather turn her back than look at you.

Monkey in general was (and still is) more amenable to compromises, and hugs and empathy. And reason.

She is doing less hitting and throwing when she’s angry. I think timeouts and ignoring her has really helped. Thank God too, because it’s the awesomiest thing when we’re in a public place and she starts hitting you.

Her ability to listen and follow directions is still up for debate. Some days she’s great. Other days? Not. At. All. Sometimes I feel like trying not to tell her what to do because I know she’ll just do the opposite of what I want.

And when we try to pick her up and make her do what we tell her to do — like don’t run away from me during Monkey’s school performance, don’t run away from me in the library, don’t run away from me down the hall —  she usually cycles her legs and flails her arms all around in an effort to get us to put her down.

Maybe I should just let go. 😉

That “Okay we’re leaving now,” trick where you walk out the door and leave her? Yeah, that totally doesn’t work with her. She’s completely unphased.

Two weeks ago she didn’t want to leave the neighbor’s house so Husband, Monkey and I walked out the door and stood there watching her through the window as she continued to play. She didn’t even look around for us after we left. After a Christmas parade last weekend we started walking away from her on the sidewalk and she just turned around and walked the other way. And when we were leaving my cousin’s in-laws’ house (people Bean literally sees 2-3 times/year) we said, “Okay, we’re leaving now. Are you staying here?” And she said, “Uh huh,” and started unzipping her coat.

Little sh*t.

Monkey definitely seemed to listen more. And that leaving trick TOTALLY worked with her. Hysterical sobbing usually would ensue with Monkey. Monkey’s still shy and Bean generally is not.

Monkey also is more prone to emotional outbursts. She’s a more emotional person. So while we had more frequent, but shorter tantrums with Monkey, we have fewer, but longer ones with Bean. Not necessarily more terrible. Just different.

I think the first four months of Bean’s life were so peaceful and easy because God knew how terrified I was about having a Toddler Tornado and a newborn.

Guess we were in for a surprise. I can’t wait to see how these traits manifest themselves in future years.

The Love/Hate – May 2011

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So I’m thinking about starting a new feature on my blog. The Love/Hate. Because on a daily basis there are things that I’m reminded that I LOVE about my kids and having kids in general. And also on a daily basis, I’m reminded that there are things I … well, hate is a strong word. Extremely dislike. Have a disdain for? Detest? Extremely dislike doesn’t really have the same ring as hate. Plus, there’s no symmetry between love and extremely dislike. So I guess while I don’t actually hate these things, I’m going with hate. I was actually just going to go with a Hate feature, because I figured you all are getting tired of my sentimental, sappy droning. But then I did think of a few Love things, and I don’t want to be accused of not loving my children.

I’m planning to jot things down as they arise and post them every couple of weeks when I have more than a couple. I’m also looking forward to seeing what you guys have to add.

So, to kick things off …

Love

  • Rosy red cheeks when they wake up from a nap
  • Hearing my 15-month-old say “Hi” when I walk into her room
  • Watching Monkey try to hop on one foot without holding onto anything — she looks more like she’s attempting karate kicks, not to mention that the foot never actually leaves the ground
  • Watching Bean react to Monkey crying by starting to cry too (the empathy cracks me up)
  • Nutella face in the grocery store

Hate

  • Trying to keep the three-year-old quiet while the 15-month-old naps. Seriously, STFU.
  • In case you didn’t know, my bra straps are not meant for climbing me.
  • Once you’re up, my bra straps are not meant to hang onto me with. Dude, I am not a horse, and my bra is not your bridle. STOP GRIPPING me. What is the deal!?
  • When you’re sitting in your high chair, it is not obligatory for you to extend your foot until you touch something; namely me. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t need to kick me repeatedly throughout dinner. As a matter of fact, it is more than acceptable for your feet to just rest against the high chair. When I push you farther away, you don’t need to try harder to kick me.
  • Speaking of my personal space, when you sit next to me at a restaurant, move the eff over. No, really. MOVE. OVER. Don’t move down to the other end of the bench and then ever so slowly creep back until you’re rubbing elbows with me again. I’m eating. Back off.

Any love/hate that you care to share?

Laboring — In All Its Many Stages

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Earlier this evening I was waxing nostalgic because my sister-in-law is in the hospital AT THIS MOMENT giving birth. Here was my status:

Thinking about [sister-in-law] in labor right now kinda makes me want to have another baby. It’s just such an amazing and exciting time – the prospect of meeting a whole new person that you helped make, and who will have his/her own personality, and who you will spend a lifetime loving. A-mazing.

She commented back, You can take my place right now if you want! 😉 this is so not fun!”

In short order, my sister-in-law will find that everything she endured during labor was ALL worth it.

And I guess that’s something that, as a parent, you continually need to remind yourself of. Because as is wont to happen during child-rearing, you find yourself in a “stage” (and aren’t they always stages? It’s just a series of never ending stages?). We currently are in A STAGE with Bean. And if we don’t get out of THIS STAGE soon, I think I might have to go into her mouth and start pulling the non-protruding teeth out with a pliers. Because I’m just not so sure how long I can handle THIS STAGE.

Teething. Ugh. It seriously is nev-er end-ing. It was really, really bad about a month ago. And then it was better for a week or so. And now it’s just depressingly bad and annoying again. It’s the crying. The crying and the clinging and the crying. And the taking extra, extra long (along with extra time and attention from us) to fall asleep at night, the waking up in the middle of the night, and the waking up too early in the morning. Dear Bean’s teeth: PLEASE COME OUT NOW.

The fact that I was all nostalgic about having another baby, and then a mere 15 minutes after my “here and now” children arrived home I wanted to hide in closet with cotton stuffed in my ears, is just typical. Typical of what every parent goes through.

Even when you have the benefit of an older child, and you rationally know that these stages don’t last forever, it just FEELS like forever sometimes.

But, as in the case of labor during childbirth, the “labor” of raising a child is worth it (and this is oh so much clearer when your children are asleep, are not crying, screaming or otherwise clamoring for attention, and you are enjoying some free time).

Bye, bye, bye?

Speaking of stages, I spontaneously decided to wean Bean (hey, as Monkey would say, “that rhymes!” She has been rhyming some choice words lately, but more on that some other day) from the nuk tonight. You may remember we’ve been considering this for awhile. I wasn’t really planning on it. I was just annoyed with all the crying and carrying on at bedtime, and it just seemed like the nuk wasn’t helping. So why even bother with it?? We had experimentally cut the tip off of one of her five remaining nuks two months ago, just to see her reaction. It was pretty funny. She kept playing with it in her mouth. Taking it out, looking at it. Popping it back in. All the while not sucking on it. Her reaction pretty much mirrored Monkey’s when we did it to her.

So tonight, after my third trip into her bedroom to give her back the nuk she threw out, I decided to replace it with the one with the severed tip. She took it fine. Laid down. Played with it in her mouth. Of course I had to sit in the chair next to her crib until she fell asleep (because I tried to just hug her and leave three times and that sure didn’t work), but she had no issues with the nuk.

I honestly think she’ll be fine. We’ll keep giving her nuks with the tips cut off for the next 5-7 days, and I think she’ll just lose interest. We did the same thing with Monkey and finally on the seventh night or so, we just didn’t give it to her and she never even noticed. I’m hoping the same will happen with Bean.

I feel like Bean doesn’t even really need it like she thinks she does. She does more chewing on it than she does sucking. And it’s starting to become more and more of a crutch for us. Since she’s been so crabby lately, we’re starting to shove it in her mouth at the least provocation (aka, ALL THE TIME).

So we’ll see what happens.

Not much crying, but still teary

Speaking of the Beaner, her tear duct probe surgery turned out to be SO totally fine and not nerve-wracking at all. Thank you everyone who said prayers, wished us luck, or sent us positive thoughts.

The nurse gave her some sort of liquid sedative, which she warned tasted awful, and Bean proved by spitting most of it out. But apparently all she needed was a little bit to take the edge off. And then miraculously, when the anesthesiologist came to take her, she went right with him!!! She looked out the door, interested in all the action going on, and never looked back at us. No crying, no fuss. I was happily stunned. Oh! And I didn’t cry at all either!

The ophthalmologist performing the surgery came out to talk to us about 10 minutes later. Yes, seriously. He was able to get the probe about 75% of the way through (he warned us in advance that if it became difficult to pass the probe he would stop and not force it). Since he wasn’t able to get the probe all the way through, the procedure doesn’t have as high of a success rate (80-90%), but still better than 50-50.

Another 10 minutes passed and the nurse came to get us, saying that Bean was awake and we could come and be with her. Much to the amusement of the nurses, when they woke her up and a female nurse reached for her, she burst into tears and reached for the male anesthesiologist again! I don’t know, she must have thought he was cute!!

By the time we got to her she had been crying kind of hard, but she calmed down right away. After a pulse and oxygen test, we were out of there. The procedure began at 7:30 a.m. and we were back home by 8:20. Crazy!

Unfortunately for us, I don’t think the procedure worked. The ophthalmologist said that we would know for sure in 2-3 weeks, and it’s been just over two weeks. So far, Bean is still tearing. Her eye isn’t getting as gunky, but it’s definitely still tearing. Argh. If it doesn’t improve in the next several days, then I guess we’ll ultimately have to schedule an appointment at Children’s to have a tube placed in her tear duct to keep it open.

What the ophthalmologist failed to mention the first time he talked to us about our options, was that in most cases, the tube can be removed through the nose in the doctor’s office — thus it won’t require two procedures like I’d previously thought. I really wish I had known this because I think it may have been in our best interests to just do the tube procedure in the first place. While I’m no longer a nervous nelly about the anesthesia for the second procedure, the probe wasn’t cheap, and I don’t want to have to pay for a second surgery.

The royal marketing machine. I mean, wedding.

I have a mild interest in the wedding of Prince Whatshisname? Right. William. I seriously had to think about it for a minute. I still couldn’t remember and I had to ask my husband. Prince William and Catherine (who will no longer be known as “Kate” post-wedding) Middleton.

So I’ve been paying pretty minimal attention. I’ve glanced at the occasional article on People.com, but the idea of getting up at 4 a.m. to watch it was ridiculous to me. And I certainly wasn’t about to DVR it, because I don’t have six hours to watch it at some later point at my leisure. More importantly, I don’t have enough space on my DVR. I do regularly keep up with pop culture, but I figured I would just catch some highlights and call it a day.

And then … I thought, but this is one of those things that happen in a lifetime. One of the (thankfully non-tragic things) that people will always remember and talk about it. This is a huge pop cultural event. I think I kinda want to see it live. Plus, who doesn’t love a good wedding?

But still. It’s just not that important to me that I want to drag my butt out of bed at 4 a.m. to stare bleary-eyed at my TV screen for five hours. I have to do something else with that time.

And then I realized there are any number of things I could do with my time if I did indeed decide to get up at 4 a.m. And watching the Royal Wedding would make those tasks a little more enjoyable. (I do have a history of working during the wee hours of the morning anyway, so what the hell.)

For example:

  • Paying bills and balancing the checkbook (I absolutely abhor this task and I tend to put it off; it MUST be done tomorrow)
  • Folding kids’ laundry
  • Ordering a swimming suit from Lands’ End
  • Checking flights to Vegas for my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party

I will not, however, be throwing a viewing party. Unless for some reason you wanted to come over and balance your checkbook too. Or, in case my favorite neighbors wanted to stop by with Starbucks and doughnuts. I’m just saying. I’ll make sure to dress appropriately. And by appropriately, I don’t mean with royal wedding-watching garb. I just mean with clothes on.

If you’ll be watching too, facebook me. And don’t forget the doughnuts!

March Madness

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It’s March Madness. And no, I’m not talking about basketball. If I was, I would just say that my bracket bled to death and leave it at that.

No, I’m talking about the madness that exists in our household this month of March. This month of March, which continues to march on endlessly. How can it only be Wednesday? It feels like it should be FRIDAY. Friday, APRIL 1. I can’t wait for April.

I always thought the month of January went slowly, and I’ve never had much of a problem with March. But this March — oh this March cannot be over soon enough.

And how can I even be complaining when Husband and I got to take the most GLORIOUS vacation to Punta Cana this March? To be honest, I can’t even believe that it was just a few weeks ago because it feels like several lifetimes ago.

Oh vacation. We really did have a glorious time. We did nothing. No, really. We — did — nothing. It was so wonderful. Whole days filled up with nothing. Many days in a row filled up with nothing. There was no schedule, no time limit, no agenda, no diaper bag.

Glorious nothingness at the pool.

There were only sun-drenched days that stretched out before us, offering the promise of nothing more than lounge chairs, the pool, the beach, food and drinks. It’s called free time. Sans kids. We sat and read, we sat and napped, we swam, we drank and we ate.

Glorious nothingness on the beach.

"Toes in the water, a$$ in the sand ..."

After two or so days of this, we almost got to thinking, “Vacation? What did we need a vacation for? Things weren’t really that busy or stressful at home.”

But we knew this was foolhardy thinking. In a moment of clarity (thanks screaming four-month-old at the pool who desperately needed a nap, but whose parents continued to feed you into submission) we recognized that we were merely suffering from vacation amnesia. And we pressed on with our glorious nothingness.

When it was time to come home, it was wonderful to return refreshed and recharged. We were SO HAPPY to see our kids. Plus, it felt like the vacation renewed our well of parenting patience.

And boy, it’s a good thing, because we sure have needed it — what with all the madness and all.

You see, the girls’ Nana (my mother-in-law) left for her annual two-week vacation to Florida with her sisters only four days after Husband and I returned. Nana watches the girls while I’m working, plus she and Grandpa took care of them while we were on vacation.

So St. Nana, (she’s a saint in my book) DEFINITELY deserved a vacation. And in theory, it works out perfectly — Nana spends a whole week with the girls and just as she’s about ready to pull her hair out, we get back and are DYING to spend time with them, and she relaxes on her vacation.

Perfect, right?

Except not.

As much as I wish I could be spending these two weeks with the girls every day, I am crazy busy with work. CA-RA-ZY. Thankfully, the craziness is scheduled to cease and desist as of this Friday (another reason Friday cannot get here fast enough!!), and then I will just be very busy.

So I asked a friend of the family, rockstar C, to come over and watch the girls three days a week (instead of the usual four) so that I could get some work done.

Cue the clinging and uncontrollable sobbing.

Bean was starting to have some major separation anxiety issues with me before we even left for vacation. Plus she had a cold and was teething.

Return from vacation = new cold, still teething, separation anxiety with renewed vigor.

Crying face.

I’m sure leaving her for a week didn’t help the separation anxiety, but it is UN-REAL. I’m not saying that I don’t understand it — I get it, I do. Her routine has now been disrupted for more than three weeks, she feels miserable, her teeth hurt and she’s not sleeping well. But I don’t have to like it.

It’s hard. Bean has to be ON me. Sometimes even when she’s as ON me as she’s gonna get, she still feels the need to try to get MORE on me. Not only can I not leave the room, I can’t even turn my back to her in what appears to be leaving the room, otherwise uncontrollable crying results and the only way to stop it is to pick her up upon which the crying stops immediately.

My job in the evening is to sit on the floor while Bean plays around me. Every few minutes Bean will come back over to me and plop herself in my lap as if to re-stake her claim. And if Monkey or Husband approaches me, Bean runs over to me, pushes them out of the way, and sits in my lap. She doesn’t leave until they’re gone, and if they make a move in my direction, she’s on the lookout. Yeah.

And it’s not just hard on me. It’s hard on Husband, it’s hard on Monkey and it’s hard on C.

Husband feels like a total failure when he and Bean are happily playing together and the moment I come home, Bean drops everything and comes screaming toward me as if Husband has just been plucking her toenails out.

Monkey starts to feel a little left out because Bean is demanding so much attention. And poor C. The uncontrollable crying starts as soon as it appears I’m going to leave.

And then there’s the fun of locking myself away in the bedroom so that I can work uninterrupted. Generally, everything is fine once I’m out of sight. Every day I consider going to the library or Starbucks, but I need to be able to talk on my phone without disrupting people. So to the bedroom I am banished! Sneaking around my own house and texting the babysitter from another room are two things I never thought I would be doing.

On top of Bean’s clinginess, Monkey has been sad and weepy at times during the last three days too — specifically right away in the morning when C comes. Poor C. The girls really do love her! As soon as I’m out of sight, they have a ball playing with her. I think the long disruption in routine, on top of missing her Nana, is what’s bothering Monkey. It’s even harder to explain to your three-year-old why you can’t play with her even though you’re home.

Ugh. STRESS! MADNESS!

You never realize how much you appreciate and come to rely on the normalcy of your daily routine until something changes. While we certainly tell the girls’ Nana “thank you” all the time, and we often think to ourselves, “Oh, I’m so glad we have her to help with the girls,” these last two weeks has been an indication that we probably haven’t done enough to show her just how much we appreciate her and everything she does to help our family run smoothly.

So, I think I should take this moment to publicly thank my mother-in-law. Thank you SO MUCH for taking care of the girls and making them feel so safe and comfortable and for allowing me to work. Thank you for making crafts with them, baking cookies, teaching them and playing outside. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You make our lives so much easier and we are so grateful. The girls love you and miss you and we can’t wait until you come home!

Only 2.5 more days of madness. Between the stress of work on a deadline and the kids’ craziness, I feel like 5 p.m. Friday will NEVER get here. I’m doing a lot of praying and drawing on my renewed well of parenting patience.

Have your kids experienced this type of separation anxiety? Do you have any tips? How long did it last? Do you have a friend or relative in your life that helps your family run smoothly?

Here Nuky, Nuky, Nuky

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Okay guys, I need some advice from you other parents. Bean is 13 months old and is seemingly getting more and more attached to her nuk. We typically only let her have it for naps and nighttime. But then there are some exceptions like during car rides when she’s kind of freaking out, or at church which is during her naptime and she’s tired and cranky.

But lately I see it becoming more and more of an “attachment” or comfort object for her. I don’t know if she’s truly getting more attached to it, or if it’s because she’s teething and has a cold, and wants it for comfort (meaning, maybe in a few more weeks it will be back to no big thing).

All I know is that I’m having a hard time not giving in and giving it to her during other parts of the day when she’s freaking out or tired and cranky. Because let’s be honest — it’s so much easier to give in and give it to her now, but then so much harder later on.

But I really, really try not to give in because I’ve just never wanted my kids walking around 24/7 with a nuk. (disclaimer: that is totally my personal preference, no judgment on anyone else who thinks differently). And I’m afraid the more she has it, the more she’ll want it all the time.

Right now, when Bean wakes up in the morning or from a nap, usually the first thing she does is take the nuk out of her mouth and hand it to us. But then if she sees it later? WATCH. OUT.

For instance. This morning while I was getting Bean changed, she saw the nuk on her dresser, and when I wouldn’t give it to her, proceeded to have a nuclear meltdown akin to the Chernobyl disaster, complete with kicking, screaming, tears, spitting, and of course a runaway nose due to her cold. This continued for the next 20 minutes while we finished getting ready to leave, up to and including buckling her into her car seat, which set off a second nuclear wave. Finally, after looking in my rearview and seeing the snot comingling with the spit, and getting pretty close to a nuclear reaction myself due to the unrelenting, ear-piercing screams, I turned on the AM static really loud. She was stunned into silence and then her eyes seemed to glaze over as she stared out the window the rest of the ride. (Incidentally, these are the moments I’m going to be reminding myself of when we’re on vacation and I get sad and start to miss them. This and the fact that every time I wipe their noses, they still manage to smear snot on their faces, then I have to wash their hands and their faces, and then apply lotion because their faces are all red and dry, only to have them sneeze again, IMMEDIATELY after I get done with that whole process. UGGGH.)

With Monkey, we decided to ax the nuk around 18 months. Partly because I knew Bean was on the way, and I really didn’t want to have two kids fighting over nuks (you can ask my cousin about that ;)), but mostly because it was becoming a huge inconvenience in my life. Even though Monkey also only had the nuk at nighttime and naptime, she was still waking up 2-3 times per night in search of the dang thing. And of course she couldn’t find it, so that was 2-3 times a night that Husband and I were in her room, feeling around in the dark, running out to the kitchen to get another one, etc. It was getting super annoying.

So because it was inconveniencing my life, we decided it had to go. Going cold turkey did not work for Monkey. But, with a lot of helpful advice from all of you, we decided to cut the tip off of her nuks, and within a week they were ALL. GONE. And it was so not a big deal. I was expecting it to be a HUGE deal. But it was the biggest non-deal ever. I couldn’t even believe it. And once she stopped counting on it to put herself back to sleep in the middle of the night, we were making far fewer 3 a.m. trips into her room.

I feel like I’m kind of in the same boat right now. In addition to seemingly wanting the nuk all the time during the day (which Monkey didn’t), Bean also is waking up 2-3 times a night in search of it, even when she’s not teething and is cold-free.

I’m really torn. If it wasn’t impacting my life, I would let her go another 5-6 months with the thing. The girls’ pediatrician (whom I adore), said the easiest time to get rid of it is now. BUT, she qualified that with, “or whenever you’re ready.” She’s not concerned about it harming the alignment of her teeth or anything like that. She just agreed that the older they get, the harder it is to get them to give it up.

But, I also feel like I’m taking away the last of her babyhood — that I’m rushing her to grow up, which isn’t really what I want at all. I just want her to stop FREAKING OUT when she doesn’t have the darn thing, and I’d rather not be woken up 2-3 times a night (when she’s healthy and not teething).

So what do you think? Has anyone else done nuk weaning fairly early like this? How did it go? Thoughts, suggestions, comments?

To ax, or not to ax.