My Girl looooved her poppies (aka pacis…aka binkies…aka wubbanubs). A love where we’d return home from running errands, and she’d rush to find them and say “I missed you poppies!” There was a serious affection for those suckers. And I loved them too – the one thing I knew would calm her down in an instant. This was true when she was 6 months and when she was two. It was the cure-all. And for that reason, we all dreaded getting rid of them.
We tried a few times to curb the use of the poppy: when she turned one, it was only used for naps and night time. But when she was around 18 months, we had a horrid four hour delay in an airport (where My Girl & I got kicked out of an airport store) and we gave her anything to keep her (and those around us) happy – poppies included. And it was all downhill from there. Especially once her little brother made an appearance – I wanted to keep her as content as possible while she transitioned from an only child to a big sister.
A typical sight at our house: snuggles, a princess dress, and a poppy
But even then we had some parameters: no leaving the house with the poppy. This was partly to keep poppy use from getting out of control, but to be honest, it was partly for my appearance. I didn’t want to be that mom with a two and half year old sporting a binky and have to deal with looks from all those people who had an opinion about it. Silly but true.
But once we reached the two and half year mark, it was time. So I scoured the internet looking for tips and came across this nugget: The Paci Fairy book. The reviews seemed positive, so I doled out the $24 (people sure do cash in on desperate parents) and created our Poppy Fairy plan. A very elaborate, drawn out plan.
The Poppy Fairy made her first visit to deliver the book. My Girl was really excited to see a present waiting for her and was interested in reading it. And read it we did – for about three solid months, we read that puppy and hyped up the Poppy Fairy. And with a beach vacation on the horizon, we made that the goal date and incorporated that into the scheme: turns out the Poppy Fairy actually lives at the beach!
As beach time got closer, we talked more and more about the Poppy Fairy & giving her the poppies in exchange for presents. We went to Target and looked at fun things the Poppy Fairy has & picked out her most favorite (a Princess Sofia dress being the front runner).
As I said, an elaborate scheme this was.
So once we made it to the beach, we took a few days to get into the rhythm of vacation and decided day Day Four was THE day. After nap time, we gathered up a great deal of our family and headed to the beach. I enlisted my nieces to help hype up being a big girl and they helped in the send off of tying the poppy onto some balloons and watching them float away. They sang “Let It Go” as My Girl & I set them free, and My Girl was really buying into it and kept saying “I’m a big girl!” But then she got upset: upset about losing her balloons of all things! I was shocked.
Loading up the poppy for its balloon ride
A few hours later, we put her to bed and she cried for her poppy only a minute or so. And that was it. The next morning the Poppy Fairy left some presents – and more balloons – that My Girl happily opened.
Opening up the Poppy Fairy Loot
And she mentioned her poppy a few times throughout the rest of vacation, but there was no meltdown even when she was dealing with an ear & eye infection. Totally surprising. Totally wonderful.
Considering how attached she was to her poppies, she has done incredibly well. But the one thing that has not gone well – and one thing I was not prepared for – was the interruption in her sleep patterns. I suppose when she would go through a sleep cycle in the past, she would groggily grab her poppy & soothe herself back to sleep. Without it, she wakes up and screams for her momma. It’s been an issue, but we’re working on it.
An elaborate scheme. A long story. But a successful transition.
So if any of you have paci/poppy/binky/wubbanub obsessive kiddos, I would highly recommend giving the Poppy Fairy a try!