When Anderson was just a baby Dave and I made a very tough decision to give him a pacifier. I know in the grand scheme of things it's not really a big deal, but we really struggled with it. We didn't want to screw up his teeth (according to the dentist, it won't) and we didn't want him to become obsessed with it and have it until he was like 3 or 4.
Now at 2+ years old he still has it and it has become an obsession. He doesn't do anything without it and it seems to never drop from his mouth. He showers with it, he sucks it in between bites of food, he sleeps with it. I must wash that thing a thousand times a day. And I really wouldn't care, I guess, if he wasn't talking like an adult. The kid is adding new words every day and putting small sentences together now. He even tells jokes. I love it. We can finally figure out what he wants. But, he talks around his pacifier and it makes it hard to understand him. We will ask him to take it out and say whatever he was saying again and he does, but then he sticks it right back in his mouth.
For a while we were doing a pretty good job of breaking him of it. We would take it from him when he got up in the morning and then wouldn't give it back until he napped or slept for the night. I don't know how or when it happened but he went back to having it all the time. I've become fed up with it. It's time to be done with the pacifier. My neighbor (who has quintuplets - yeah, you read that right) had suggested cutting them just a little at a time. It wouldn't taste the same and he wouldn't want it as much. It's a great idea but it hurt my heart to cut them. It was something that he still had that connected him to his baby days.
But then I had an idea. Anderson has four pacifiers. Two of them are the same and they are his favorite. This morning I cut, every so slightly, one of the two identical ones. I brushed his teeth, took his pacifier, and switched it out with the cut one. Immediately Anderson knew something was different. He pulled it out of his mouth and said "oh no." He said it was broken. I convinced him he chewed it off. He would chew it and suck it and take it out of his mouth. We went to the fountains to play and he handed it to me so he could play. Woah, that never happens. Then at nap time he handed it to me and said, "done." Ah, break my heart. When I laid him down for bed tonight he handed it to me and said, "trash." The one time today it was a problem was when he woke up from his nap and wasn't quite awake. I quickly distracted him with his trucks and he was fine.
So, it looks like this might be working. It makes me sad (and it's crushing Dave) but it's working. He talked all day today and I understood what he said. Except for once he didn't cry or throw a fit when he didn't have it. Big boy. Such a big boy.