Gemma, like her sisters before her, is a paci girl. Or, as she has dubbed them, “sassies” –  are a fixture for her.  If she has one (which she usually does.  We pick our battles.) and sees another one, the one she doesn’t have is much preferred to the one in her mouth.  She likes to carry one in her hand and switch it out regularly.  If a paci is found on the ground, she often gives close inspection (she has learned though trial and error that even the briefest of contact with the floor picks up a good deal of Monday hair) and comes running to me yelling, “Dur-dee! Dur-dee!”  This is followed by her rubbing the paci on my hip or leg and, if it doesn’t pass muster, insisting that I “wass” the “fudzies.”  It is a great joy indeed when she can have one in her mouth and one in each hand as well.  She will share with anyone around how many she has by transferring the pacies from one hand to other while counting, “Oooooone . .  twooooo!” And if it’s time for sleep and we can’t find one?  Lord help us all.  Just this week, bedtime stories were interrupted and disbanded for a while so her siblings could help search for a missing paci. That night we were lucky and found one.  Other nights have required a run to Walgreens or Familly Thrift.  When that happens, Jac has been known to purchase more than one package out of sheer frustration.

We should have invested in the company.

Meanwhile, Ellie just gave hers up.  Well, I wish it had been like that.  I like to think the Lord had mercy upon on us and worked it out.  One night up at the lake after searching high and low for Gemma’s and doing the same for Ellie and realizing that in short order we might be doing it for an infant, too, I almost had a nervous breakdown.  “I can’t do it, Lord!” I fervently prayed.  I thought of the futility of trying to break Ellie’s habit having fought a losing battle with Tess for YEARS.  “They just steal them from the next youngest so what does it matter?  I can’t dooooo iiiiiiittt.”

He answered my prayer.

Sometime in the final days at the lake, Ellie’s paci went MIA.  She looked and we looked (half-heartedly) but we all knew that it was really a needle in a haystack predicament.  The first couple of nap times and maybe the first 2 nights were rough.  But then, it was over.  She would say periodically in a quiet voice, “I miss my paci.” but she never asked for another one. And though her elder sister attempted to get her to switch over to Gemma’s brand, (oh yes, my friends, we had two different kinds to keep track of. And yes, we heard Tess being a pusher.) Ellie refused and just slipped into life without a sleeping aid.

Actually, she’s just switched crutches.  Turns out she can’t/won’t sleep alone which is not so bad (yay! Nap time for me!) most of the time (“What the HECK are you doing up?! I have stuff to do!”). Such is life and all that jazz.

And finally, I learned today why prisons use strip searches.  NOT that this place is like a prison, no way. Or that anyone was searched.  But, there was an incident with one of the girls (not one of the two mentioned above, fyi) who was attempting to smuggle one of Gemma’s pacies downstairs during nap time.  It was by far the most shocking, hilarious, mind-boggling event of the day.  Someday we will all laugh about it.  Fingers crossed that when that day comes, she’ll be paci free.