About a month ago I got a crazy idea. I decided it was time to go cold turkey on the Binky. I'm not sure what I was thinking, especially since Jonathan was out of town at the time and Christmas was right around the corner. Crazy, right?! I guess it's because he has been taking naps at his preschool two days a week without one. His teacher, Miss Brittney, nipped that in the bud from day one back in October. But we didn't carry that rule over at home because I felt bad. We were putting him in preschool two days a week for the first time and it just felt cruel to take away his comfort.
Let me rewind for a second and say that even though he still used a binky, it was only for falling asleep at night and naps at home. And, as soon as he fell asleep, he dropped the binky anyway. Other than that, he only ever wanted it if he was really, really upset or sick. So, it just seemed harmless to have around and we let him keep it longer than we originally intended.
But the next night was not like desert at all. As I laid him down in his crib he was repeatedly whimpering, "Binky!" as he he scrunched up his sweet little face and looked at me with the saddest of eyes. I calmly explained to him that he didn't need the binky anymore. I stayed in his room and comforted him for a short time before praying with him, kissing him good-night and walking out of his room. He cried. For awhile. Those next 10ish minutes were tough. I didn't have Jonathan to validate the decision since he was out of town and oblivious to the decision I made by myself. But I knew I couldn't go back in there and give it to him. What message would that send to him when one day we decided it was definitely time. No, I had made a decision and I had to stick to it.
Over the next several days, nap times and bedtimes were not the pleasurable experiences they had once been. Brody has always been so easy when it came time to sleep. He hardly fussed...if at all. When he did fuss, it was for no more than 20 seconds before he would yawn and slowly fall asleep or start laughing and jabbering to his stuffed animals. I missed those days.
As the days passed and Christmas was upon us, Jonathan and I both dreaded putting him to bed. But we stuck to the no binky rule and toughed it out. I knew we needed a new consistent routine for both naps and bedtime. The short routine of prayer and kisses wasn't cutting it anymore...not without the binky in the midst of it all. The problem was, I couldn't figure out a routine that seemed to satisfy.
Before we knew it, Christmas was here and company was in town. This meant any sort of routine we had was out the door and a set bedtime was no longer "set." He was staying up late and going to bed at various times. Not only was he crying for roughly 10 minutes but now he was staying up for close to 2 hours each night playing in his crib before drifting off to sleep.The whole experience at nap time and bedtime just got worse. Even Wynni didn't want to be the one to put him to bed. No one wanted to be the bad guy. It broke my heart, nap time after nap time, night after night.
I questioned the decision each and every night. Our company had mixed opinions, but most agreed we needed to stick to it. I felt horrible though! Brody is such a good kid and it just felt like punishment. So we did. We stuck to it. Some nights the only reason I didn't give in is because I didn't want everyone else to see me break under pressure.
Before we knew it, Christmas was long gone and company was leaving. We slowly worked our way back to an 8 o'clock bedtime but Brody still wasn't the easy-going child we knew him to be when it was time to lay him down. On New Year's Eve night, as I walked him up the stairs I began to sing The Ants Go Marching. He was silent, listening intently. So I tried it again the next night. Same thing. It was amazing. He was back to crying only for a few seconds after we closed the door. Then he was done.
It has been two weeks (one month since I took the binky away), and we are still singing The Ants Go Marching each nap and bedtime. It works. But I was still holding on to the last 2 binkies...until today. I kept them on my nightstand, hidden behind a picture. Just in case. Those binkies became my comfort.
Well, I decided today that it is time to rip that off like a band-aid just like I ripped Brody's "band-aid" off last month. They are in the trash. The trash that will be put out on our curb tomorrow to be taken away forever (assuming they will come and not cancel due to the winter storm). It's not just my comfort that I will be throwing away though. It's another milestone. A symbol that my baby is not as much a baby as he once was. He's becoming a big boy. A big boy that doesn't have a binky.
I kept Brody's bottles for about a month after he stopped drinking from them just because it was a reminder that he is growing up so fast. This is a picture of the last of his bottles thrown in the trash (a very long time ago). It was a tiny heartbreak for me that day.
Throwing away the binkies was a tiny heartbreak too but it was also a huge victory (for us and Brody)! Way to go, Brody! I'm so very proud of you!