Erin has always loved her dummy and to be quite honest, I’m all about the easy life, so while it comforted her, I was happy to let her have it. So much so, that I was actually gutted when Rory refused a dummy. I was so used to giving it to Erin when she’d fallen over or when she was teething… whatever it was, the trusty old dummy would be there to comfort. And I secretly liked how, with a dummy, she was still my baby girl. She is so, so grown up in lots of other ways – fiercely independent and vocabulary beyond her years – so clinging on to this infantile habit seemed fairly harmless. But with ‘dummy teeth’ starting to make an appearance, I knew that little soother’s days were numbered.
We’d discussed with Erin that as she approaches her 4th birthday and starts big school in September, we had to start thinking about saying a fond farewell to her treasured friend. Enter the Dummy Fairy – someone I’d not heard of until recently. I’m not usually one for a gimmick (don’t get me started on that flipping elf on the shelf thing) but Erin was not going to give up her dummy without a fight and I know she wouldn’t be able to resist a fairy who leaves princess dresses in exchange for dummies.
I asked Erin which day she would like to wrap up her dummies for the fairy and she chose Monday (she was already counting down to this day as the new series of ‘Waffle the Wonder Dog’ was starting – it’s a BIG day!). It was important for us to involve her in the whole process so she chose the wrapping paper, carefully wrapped up the two remaining dummies I’d managed to scrape out from under the sofa and she left a note to go with it.
“She’ll actually love this picture won’t she..?! She’ll tell all her fairy friends.”
Once her pyjamas were on and she was ready for bed, excitedly she skipped across her room and placed the parcel very carefully outside the bedroom door, covered with a blanket.
Then all hell broke loose.
I calmly reminded her that she’s going to big school soon… “It’s ok…I don’t mind going to little school.” And I reminded her that the dummy fairy might leave her a princess dress… “I’ll just get one for my birthday instead.” The novelty had well and truly worn off but there was no backing down now. Eventually, I managed to coerce her into bed, tucked her up and left.
She sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. My heart broke hearing her cry out for it. And I was also more emotional about it than I thought I’d be. My baby girl was nearly all grown up. Just imagine what I’m going to be like when she actually starts school!! I just wanted to rush up there and shower her with cuddles and dummies… the two things she needed the most!
But eventually she conked out and while she slept, I wrapped her a brand new Rapunzel dress (Tangled is her current fave) and swapped it for the darling little note she’d left outside her bedroom door (as well as those dreaded dummies, of course).
So this morning she came bouncing in at 6.07am, full of excitement that the dummy fairy had been! Her little face lit up as she opened up her brand new princess dress. Erin hasn’t had a dummy during the day for a couple of years now so today should be a breeze but fingers crossed for tonight!
Looking for tips on helping your little one to sleep? Check out our blog post with top tips for sleeping babies and toddlers!