My name is Gouda and up until yesterday, my 4-year-old son still used a pacifier.
There, I said it.
You are probably wondering why I've committed such a transgression of parental guidance and authority, why I've created the near certainty of the exorbitant expense of braces in a child whose bite is now looking considerably altered by the regular sucking of an artificial nipple. Well, I'll just say this:
Until you have met the force of nature that is my boy, I don't think you'll ever quite understand the level of wrath which we were attempting to avoid by letting him have this one. little. thing. It's not that he's spoiled or anything. It's that he has the occasional ability to make our brains bleed, and even though he's cute and stuff, between his father and I we've probably shed enough A-positive to fill an entire blood bank.
I've probably alluded to this in the past, but Elias is a stubborn child who refuses to do anything for which he isn't absolutely ready. Unlike his sister, whose will is about as easily manipulated as a can of fresh Play-Doh, my son digs in his heels and makes mules jealous. No amount of bargaining, yelling, or threatening to extinguish his lifeforce will make him yield before he is prepared. When he was potty training a mere 7 months ago, he proved to us through dozens and dozens of soiled pairs of underwear that he, and no one else, was master of that domain.
So imagine my surprise after over two years of on again/off again pacifier interventions when yesterday Elias removed the plug from his mouth, proclaiming it "yucky" and telling me that I needed to throw it away. After that, he hasn't asked for it since. He slept great, and the crutch that has supported the entire family through years of Elias-style maelstroms of frustration, indignation, and impatience has suddenly become a non-entity.
I'm not so much concerned about how he's going to cope with those emotions as how the rest of us are going to. My cerebral cortex is quivering and weeping. It was just nice enough for Elias to finally initiate his own treatment since his parents seemed otherwise incapable. I suppose we ourselves needed our own intervention.