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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Arguably, the biggest news of this week is regarding Wednesday; I successfully defended my dissertation. That means that I have completed all of the University’s requirements for my Ph.D. All that remains is for the semester to finish so that the degree can actually be conferred. My committee was very complimentary of the project and the document, and had only minor requests to add to it before I submit it to the University. I’ll hopefully knock that out this week and have smooth sailing into the summer. I’m not going to lie – it’s a pretty nice feeling. The night of the defense was a bit weird, though. I thought I would feel relieved and satisfied, but mostly I just felt odd. I think it was mostly due to the fact that I’d been working on this project for about 2 years, and all of it was building to this 2-hour thing: all of that work ending in a fizzle. I felt much better the next morning, though, and I’m sure the actual graduation in a couple of weeks will help to bring that closure.

We had some other accomplishments this week too. After the defense, we finally felt like we could manage to do something drastic to get Carver weened off of his pacifier. We’ve come close before, but the timing was always so terrible; he would get sick or something so we didn’t want to make the whole thing more traumatic than it had to be. Anyway, we decided that we would prepare him mentally for the “detox”. We told him that we would go to Build-a-Bear and let him pick out a very special friend to hug and hold when he needed comfort. Then we would say “goodbye” to the binky forever.

He was excited about the bear, and chose a Batman-themed friend, whom he named “Batbear”. They instantly became best friends:

The moment of truth came that night. Carver initially lay down calmly with his new friend, and then about the time he was about to fall asleep, he called out for us and explained that he wanted his pacifier. We explained that the pacifier was gone now, and that it would be hard for a few nights, but that he could hold his bear to feel better. He did fall asleep after a lot of sobbing, and then got up a few more times during the night, but we hope that last night was the worst of it. I can’t blame the little man – he has gone to sleep sucking on a pacifier literally every night of his life. We are now in unfamiliar territory. 

Hopefully each night will get a little easier until he can sleep peacefully on his own. Of course he had to choose a bear with a character that is notoriously nocturnal…


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