Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Owlie

4 years, 6 months, 15 days. 1,659 days. That's how long Charley used her lovey blanket, we dubbed Owlie, as her comfort item.

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The good ol' Easter Bunny delivered one Owlie blanket to Charley on April 8, 2012. Charley was 6 months old and immediately fell in love. I'm thankful she declared her love for Owlie so soon because we were able to buy two backups immediately from Target. I guess that's where the Easter Bunny shopped too.

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This was the day she received Owlie. It was so clean!
Owlie has gone everywhere with us. 

On hikes,

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to 3-D shows,

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camping with Grandaddy,

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in Grandaddy's chair,

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of course to every nap,

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lots of time on the couch,

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to family birthday parties,

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to the beach, 

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to Christmas celebrations, 

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on road trips, 

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to the zoo, 

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and a million other places. It took me about 10 minutes to collect all of these pictures. There were TONS of them. Owlie is probably photographed more often than our cat. Sorry, Reese!

Charley essentially used Owlie as a pacifier. She did the same sucking motion as you would on a pacifier, but on the corners of Owlie. Every single corner became discolored and they STANK real bad real fast. They got regular washes on the weekends but Charley rarely minded their smell and love love loved them so.

I wasn't that worried about them either since the dentist had mentioned that they didn't pose the same problem as a pacifier since they were flat. So, I tried some gentle approaches to get her to break the habit. Essentially I didn't want to just take them from her, I just did not want her to put them in her mouth any longer. 

For a while, we talked up her 5th birthday like she was OFFICIALLY going to be a big girl. And you know what big girls didn't do? They didn't chew on owlies. We told her on her 5th birthday she would give them over to us, and then she'd get her birthday presents and she was pretty agreeable about it. So, that morning, in our camper, she begrudgingly handed them over.

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Yeah, so, that didn't work. Her and Laney share a room in the camper and I wasn't trying to have two non-sleeping babies that night, so she convinced me to let her just have them at night but that she wouldn't touch them at all during the day. That continued on for another couple days where she even brought them to me and handed them over first thing every morning, but before we knew it she just kept them and then "used" them whenever she pleased. She didn't take them to school or anything, but if she was resting on the couch and watching a cartoon, she liked to have them. I gave up the fight for a while.

We randomly tried to let her test out her own willpower for the promise of a coveted toy. (Monster High girl dolls...thanks a lot Charley's older cousins! haha) We told her she could continue to hold them, but as soon as she put them back in her mouth she had to start all over. I think we put a 3 day limit on it or something like that. But, this was HABIT, and even though she tried to lay there so sweetly only holding them and not chewing them, habit took over and they were back in her mouth before we knew it.

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We gave up for a while. She truly didn't use them as often as she used to, and we just hadn't come up with a nice way of taking them away.

A couple weekends ago John went out of town. While Charley misses her daddy when he leaves of course, she also gets really excited because I will let her have ONE sleepover in Mama's bed whenever he isn't home. She chose Saturday night over the long weekend he was gone to sleep in the bed with me. That night I didn't sleep very well and one of the reasons why was because I could hear her sucking on those blankies ALL NIGHT LONG. I sort of thought she used them to go to sleep and that was really it, but that night I realized that she would grab them in her sleep and suck on them periodically throughout the night. I decided I needed to help her break the habit soon. In the middle of the night sometime, I finally came up with an idea that I thought may work.

Safety pins.

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I think most people questioned my sanity when I said I was going to put small metal POINTY objects on something that my daughter regularly put IN HER MOUTH and kept IN HER BED. Relaxxxxx, everything's going to be justtttt fine.

I did use larger, sturdier safety pins and put them on every single corner at some point that next afternoon. I decided I should tackle this that very next night because John was still out of town and I could let her sleep in my bed again so I could comfort her and also so her crying wouldn't wake up Laney on their side of the house. Charley was less than thrilled with me when she saw what I had done that afternoon. :(

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And that night wasn't very fun at all. Charley cried pretty hard for a good 30-45 minutes. It was tough and I felt really bad for her. She had used that thing to put herself to sleep for YEARS and I felt bad that I hadn't helped her to break the habit sooner. But, before too long, she was asleep and there wasn't a blankie in her mouth at all. My big girl. <3 p="">


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But then....it was over. She may have asked for them that next morning and got a little teary eyed a couple times talking about what Mama had done, but that was IT. A few days later I ordered the dreaded Monster High Girl dolls and she was SO PROUD OF HERSELF. Which now, makes me a little teary eyed thinking about.

She still takes them to bed with her (and they are still safety pinned JUST IN CASE) but there weren't any other tears shed and haven't been any pokey accidents, either. She was just ready, I guess. 

It's such an accomplishment to get through parenting feats like this, right? It makes you feel encouraged and strong and ready to tackle the next feat!

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Meet Bunny, Laney's blankie that she does the EXACT SAME THING with. I have a feeling - knowing Laney's spunky personality - things won't go as swimmingly with her. I'm gonna........wait a couple more years on that. So much for feeling encouraged.