Growing up is an incremental thing like the formation of a stalagmite—you can’t see it happening but over time the change is extraordinary. But every once in a while the transition is sudden and the baby of yesterday is left behind. On Friday Toddler Harbat went to the dentist for a checkup. Seen here in a riot of pink, she’s carefully inspecting the wash cup for anything suspicious.
The dentist told my wife that TH’s teeth were beginning to be affected by the use of her pacifier. This has long been a point of concern in our household. Besides the fact that she’s three and a half and seemingly too old for a pacifier, we were worried it would affect her teeth. On Friday we got the professional validation of our concerns. But here’s the thing: it was a fantastic soothing mechanism. After lunch when TH was tired and bouncing off the walls she could put her pacifier in her mouth and, as the name suggests, instantly calmed down. The effect was nothing short of miraculous. Recently we’d been limiting the pacifier just for nighttime, but it had such an incredible soothing effect that it was hard to take it away. On Friday after her dentist visit she helped us gather up the pacifiers and throw them in the trash. To her credit, she knows the era of the pacifier is over. Was there a nap on Friday? No. Nap on Saturday? No. Nap on Sunday? No. Now I’m worried that by removing her soothing mechanism we’ve removed the possibility for afternoon naps and, believe me, my wife and I need that quiet time as much as she does.
With the pacifier gone so goes the baby in Baby Harbat. In fact she’s not even Toddler Harbat any more. Should she be Child Harbat? This sounds too much like Childe Harold. Young Harbat? Whatever her moniker, my little girl is growing up. This weekend we got a lurch as we shifted gears and accelerated into the future. Bye bye baby.