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I have a confession to make – I bribed my three-year old daughter to give up her pacifier, or “binky”. I told her if she stopped using it (at least during the day, and most of all in public where people look at me with disapproval and quietly shake their head whenever they see her holding on to it), that her dad and I would get her something she’d really, really like.

We waited two days to see if she would agree, she did (surprise, surprise) but with the condition that she’d still need it at bedtime. We reached a deal. So, yesterday, my husband and I took our lil’ one to the toy store and got her a “big girl” kitchen. One with a microwave, oven, fridge, and all the perks. One fit for a girl that doesn’t use a pacifier.

It’s worked so far – she hasn’t used her pacifier at all, except at bedtime. But, here’s where my guilt comes in; she’s actually having withdrawal-like symptoms. She’s getting angry, frustrated, and throwing tantrums at the drop of a needle. She’s been asking for my undivided attention and – maybe you’ll think I’m paranoid here – actually punishing me for making her give up her precious “payya”, as she likes to call it. Yes, she’s making me suffer, making me pay – she’s a smart one! And, she knows that through this all – I’m going to feel guilty. ‘Cause, right or wrong, I do feel guilty.

We’ve been trying to keep her distracted all the time, playing with her, taking her out, and sitting with her at all hours of the day next to that new kitchen of hers. She “cooks” for us and we sit there, quietly, smiling and pretending to eat, drink, and have never-ending tea parties. Anything to keep her away from that pacifier.

Frankly, at this point, after hours of tantrums this morning, I’m not even sure if it’s worth it. So she uses a pacifier. Is it hurting anyone? Why do people care so much that she’s still addicted to it? Why do mothers look at me with those reproachful stares of theirs, wondering how on earth I condone this. I honestly don’t know. But, nevertheless, here I am trying to wean her off her “payya”. Will it work? I’ll keep you posted!