If you've been around Zeke anytime in the past year, you have probably heard him mention his beloved "bepe" (pronounced (beh-pay). Bepe is Zeke talk for the Spanish word, "chupete", or pacifier. We realize that two-and-a-half seems a bit late to be taking this comfort object away from our little guy, but since we've had so many major changes this year, it never seemed like quite the right time.
For the past month, we've been gearing up for the big day. We told Zeke about the legend of the bepe fairy (or in some families, the paci fairy) and how she works here in Arkansas. According to Ozark legend, when a small child is ready to become a big kid, he packs up all of his pacifiers and puts them in the mailbox before bedtime. During the night, the fairy comes and gathers up the pacis and takes them for babies that don't have any pacis. In their place, she leaves a big-kid toy for the child.
We spent some time browsing at the toy store discussing which types of big-boy toys the bepe fairy might be able to bring. Finally, the big day arrived, and Zeke gathered up all of his pacifiers and solemnly walked them down the driveway to the mailbox. We talked about how the first night might be hard, but it would get easier. Some tears were shed and screams were heard at bedtime (and until 10:45pm), but Zeke managed to fall asleep without his bepe last night.
This morning when he woke up, we hurried out to the mailbox to see what she'd left. The Bepe Fairy came through for our little guy. When asked if it was worth it, he remembers his comfort object, frowns for a minute, then looks at his new digger and smiles. "Yeah."