Some friends said to wait a while, some said it would be like weaning them off heroin, some said we should have done it sooner, A and E had talked about it for a couple of months and then the day came when E completely lost hers and we dreaded bedtime - yes I'm talking about dummies, pacifiers, ploppers or whatever other ridiculous names we give to them.
I had spent over 3 years saying several times a day "where are the dummies?" Bedtime would have been so much easier and quicker if we didn't have to spend hours hunting under the cots or beds, down the side of the sofa, turning out trouser pockets, or completely removing the very well fastened in car seats to retrieve them.
We hated them but they brought so much peace to our home that they were worth it. As A and E turned 3 we spoke more and more about the dummy fairy. She is pretty and has wings and she would take A and E's dummies and give them to the new babies. All well and good when it's a story but not as fun in practice.
I explained that the fairy could only take the dummies if they were put in the special pretty bag and box that we had bought for her. Again it sounds good, but there is no chance a 3 year old dependent on getting to sleep with her dummy can willingly put it in a box and not sneak it back out in order to get to sleep.
I could sense the day was getting nearer as we were down to the 2 final dummies in our house. Not only just 2 dummies left but both had cracks in them. They used to toss them on the floor if they got cracks in as apparently they didn't "suck properly", but when they realised this was all that was available they put up with them.
And then one fateful Friday night arrived where E's dummy completely disappeared. We searched the house but it didn't appear and so we decided that the fairy would come. A thought she would join in and put her dummy in the little bag and box and left it by the front door.
Everyone was tired and everyone went to bed.
I was very excited as I had bought some lovely little gifts from the dummy fairy (she can't be expected to carry too much with her). I woke up early to put the little gifts in the 2 bags but then I discovered that A must have come downstairs and taken her dummy back. What to do?
I did the sensible thing any dummy fairy would do, I left the bag of goodies for clever E who had slept all night without a dummy.
Lots of excitement when E woke up and got her bag with little toys and a chocolate bar. A didn't get hers and showed me her dummy. There was only one thing for it. During the day I took her dummy and hid it.
On the Saturday night, magically the dummy fairy also came for her.
So the question asked by everyone, "how did it go? was it a nightmare?" and I can honestly say they have been great. They themselves had started to realise that they didn't need them and they have not once asked for them since the day the fairy came.
There are times now when they lie on the floor and have general toddler tantrums and scream for 30 minutes when in the past they would have sucked a dummy for comfort, now they have to scream and get over the tantrum themselves.
We walked into their nursery the other day and there are all new photos up on the wall of the kids. There is one of A very busy playing with a dummy in her mouth. She herself looked at the picture and said "Look I had a dummy, that was when I was a baby, I'm a big girl now".
Well said A - we are very proud of A and E and of course the brilliant dummy fairy!