Wednesday, November 4, 2015

the ba-ba fairy, or, adventures in wtf just came out of my mouth?

I'm going to blame it all on Daylight Savings Time, all right? I'm...a little tired. Hence, the following.


Yesterday, I was driving Rowan home from a fun afternoon at Grandma's house, where she rolled around in a dirt hole as deep as she is tall:

She was chattering away in the back seat about how much she loves the dirt and Grandma and her bike and...something about a ba-ba. "Your pacifier?" I asked, since ba-ba is what she's always called her pacifier.

"No, ba-ba," she emphasized, clearing things right up. Lately, if I don't understand a word she's trying to tell me, I have about 2.5 guesses to get it right, or she loses her crap. So I tried again.

"Um, ba-ba...ba-ba...[*drawing a blank*] Are you sure you don't mean your pacifier?"

"No! No no no NO NO NOOOOOOOO, BA-BA, BA-BAAA!" Aaand crying.

Shit. What else could "ba-ba" mean?! I wracked my brain. "Oh! BALL? Ball-ball?"

"YEAH! Ba-ba. Yeah, Mama."

I tried to explain myself to her, hoping it would chill her out. "Ball! I gotcha now. I thought you were saying ba-ba, like your paci! Silly Mama!"

She sniffled. "Yeah, silly Mama," she chided, not bothering to mask her accusatory tone.

"Mama's so silly. Not ba-ba, Mama! Ball-ball!" These are not Rowan's words; this is me, over-narrating every second of our day, plus trying to make a joke to lighten the mood. It's a habit. "Speaking of ba-bas...yours has a boo-boo, doesn't it?"

"Yeah," she concurred. "Ba-ba has a boo-boo. Has a biiiig boo-boo." She's down to three pacifiers (from five), and her favorite (Green Ba-Ba) has a tear in it. I know we're supposed to get rid of it immediately - it's a huge hazard when it's torn like that - but Rowan was sick for, like, a month around September and October, and we were in no position to fuck with what little sleep she was managing to get. So periodically we check to see if the tear has gotten any bigger, and we remind her that soon, we'll be all done with ba-bas. She's open to the idea, sure, but it's abstract to her, and I don't want to use it as a threat. That said, the ba-bas need to go, and soon - if for no other reason than wear and tear and my refusal to replace the old ones this late in the pacifier game.

All of this was whirling around in my head yesterday, mixing with a lack of sleep (Daylight Savings Time ending has messed us UP, I'm TELLING you) and my poor brain trying to process the concept of 5:30 p.m. rolling around and having the outside world be both dark and 74 degrees. In Michigan. In November.

And so it was that in the three-minute drive from Grandma's house to ours that all of a sudden, as though I were watching myself in a horrible sitcom, I heard myself say the following:

"You know, soon the Ba-Ba Fairy will come and take all the ba-bas away."



Where did THAT come from? J.J. and I haven't discussed a paci-removal strategy, much less the introduction of a fictional fairy that steals beloved comfort objects from our daughter.

But the words were out there, hanging in the air between me and the back seat. A Ba-Ba Fairy. Jesus.

Maybe Rowan didn't hear me. It was awfully silent back there.

And so my mouth spoke again, without my knowledge or consent.

"Yep. The Ba-Ba Fairy. She'll come and get your ba-bas and give you a new, special toy to cuddle with in your crib at ni-ni time."




But with the promise of a new toy, the idea of a Ba-Ba Fairy settled into Rowan's head like European interlopers in the Americas. My girl has a keen memory, which brings me regular pride and amazement, but it's damn inconvenient at moments when my sleep deprivation and pure idiocy intersect. She's now mentioned the Ba-Ba Fairy every time a pacifier is mentioned, spotted, or thought about.

And the bitch of it is - the Ba-Ba Fairy is not a horrible idea. It could work, and it could work well. But J.J. and I have no plan for this, no "special toy" in hand or even in mind to bestow upon our ba-ba-less toddler, and no method to this madness. So now the concept of a magical fairy arriving to steal her ba-bas is just floating around, possibly causing Rowan distress, and definitely causing me distress because -

I'm not ready.

I'm not ready for her to be done with her ba-bas.

I'm not ready for her to be old enough to need to be done with pacis, and for her to move past her comfort object. Isn't she my little baby still? Always?

She's not, and I know this, if only because roughly eighty-four times a day I accidentally refer to her as my "baby" or "babe" and am swiftly and harshly corrected: "I NOT A BABY. I A TODD-LOH." Yes, your majesty. "I NOT A MAJESTY. I A TODD-LOH." Okay. She's not a baby.

But she's my baby.

And, importantly, who the hell wants to deal with continued night wakings as she adjusts to not having a pacifier? Ugh. I'm never going to sleep again.

...Which probably bodes well for Rowan. Who knows what new toddler-habit fairies I'll conjure up during my extended state of pacifier-riddance-induced sleep deprivation? The Diaper Fairy, arriving to remove all Pampers from the premises? The Whining Fairy, who shall not tolerate disrespectful tones and snatches voice boxes, à la Ursula from The Little Mermaid? The 5:30-Wake-Up Fairy, who discovers the root cause behind early awakenings and scatters preventive Sleepy Dust (airborne Benadryl) at four in the morning?

Actually. That last one might not be a bad idea.


Will keep you posted on the Ba-Ba Fairy's inevitable proceedings.

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