Well, I did it. I put The Bear down to sleep with no pacifier.
You know what. He did just fine. He cried for less than 10 minutes. I went to take a shower to drown out the initial cries (and because I was still in my pajamas from the night before and felt gross). When I got out, he was quiet. Sound asleep. PACIFIER FREE!
I know better than to consider this a complete victory. We'll have to go through a few nap times and a couple more nights before I have declared myself the winner.
While I am pleasantly surprised, I almost have to laugh at myself. I do all this planning and trying to strategically pick the best date. Long enough after his sickness to get his little lungs healed, far enough before homecoming so he's adjusted before Hubby comes home . . . all for nothing! The Bear has once again reminded me that he does things in his own time. I can try my hardest to be logical and organized, but I just have to go with it.
Perhaps The Bear really is the winner in all this . . .