Monday, February 2, 2009

Kicking the Two Binky Habit

Getting Rid of the Binkies: Take 1

I had always known that when Ella turned 3, we would get rid of her pacifier habit. We only let her use her pacifiers when she sleeps, although if she could have her way she would have a binky in her mouth 24 hours a day. Peyton never used a pacifier, so this is new territory for us.

I did lots of research and decided that having her "give" her binkies to a new baby would be a good option for removal. I told her her Auntie Ali and Uncle Josh's baby, Hayden, would need the binkies. But baby Hayden hasn't been born yet, so Ella didn't really understand. Instead, she decided that her cousin Noah could have them. When they were younger, Ella spent the majority of her time trying to steal Noah's pacifier out of his mouth, so maybe she feels she owes him.

Here's Ella taking one of Noah's pacifiers back in the day. I'll tell you what she's thinking: Ha ha cousin, try and get it back. What's that? You can't, because you're stuck in Exersaucer baby jail? Being 3 months older than you is really starting to pay off.

So we had a plan. She could have her pacifiers for her nap, but then we would pack them up and mail them. Naptime came, disaster struck. We could only find one pacifier. Here's some pacifier background on Ella. She has to sleep with a minimum of two pacifiers - one for her mouth, one in her hand. It has always been this way.

As her third birthday approached, we threw away the pacifiers as they got cracked and didn't buy any new ones. So at this point I knew we owned three binkies. One was in my husband's car at his work (I really have no idea why), she had one, and one was missing. She had two this morning and now she had one. Did I mention she HAS to sleep with two?

Peyton, Ella, and I searched high and low. If you've ever searched for something with two little kids, I don't have to tell you: I did the searching. They mostly walked around the house calling out, "Binky! Where are you Binky?" and playing with whatever toys they came across.

Anyway, "we" emptied toy boxes, drawers, laundry baskets, entire closets. "We" moved couches, cabinets, and beds. "We" took off sheets, blankets, and couch cushions. It was nowhere. And now that I had seen what was under my couch cushions, I had to add "vacuum unidentified old food pieces" to my To Do List.

I asked Ella if she had put it somewhere special and she said, "Yes," but she really didn't know where it was. And if you are thinking - Seriously, it's a freakin' pacifier, let her deal with it - you have a point. I would have if it had been a regular day. But I knew this was her Last Binky Hurrah and I really wanted her to get everything she could out of it.

After (I'm not joking) an hour and a half of searching, I promised her I'd keep looking but that she had to take a nap. For the next hour she cried the most heart-breaking cry I have ever heard. In between sobs, she would call out, "Where are you, Binky? I love you, Binky!" Remember the first time you got your heart broken? This cry was EXACTLY the same.

So of course, I caved, and I promised her that she could have her binkies for one more night. But I still could not find that freakin' purple pacifier anywhere. And of course, she didn't sleep.

About 5 minutes after she got out of bed she went into my closet and brought out a purple binky.
"Ella! Where did you find that?"
"In boot."
"Did you put it there?"
"So it won't be lost."

Excellent. Excuse me, sweet little girl Ella, while I go pour myself a nice big glass of wine. And while I'm drinking, I'll be reminiscing about the twenty-seven times we've watched the episode of "Caillou" in which the mom loses her car keys and Caillou finds them in her snow boot. Hey, Caillou, guess what? Even though you are an innocent little cartoon boy, I just put you on my Shit List.

I told my husband the story when he got home. James had never been a fan of the Cold Turkey approach. So he convinced me to let Ella keep just one binky for one more week as a way to wean her. During this time I decided to switch to the Binky Fairy tactic.

Getting Rid of the Binkies: Take 2

So, after Ella's nap a small gift bag appeared on our doorstep. In it was a letter:

Dear Ella,

I am the Binky Fairy. You are 3 years old! That means you are a Big Girl now and you don't need a binky anymore.
Please put your binky in the bag so I can have it.
Then check the bag in a little while because I am going to leave you a Big Girl present.

The Binky Fairy

Ella seemed to agree that the Binky Fairy was a good plan and happily threw her binky in the bag. After bath time we checked the bag and the Binky Fairy had brought Ella her own set of Big Girl TinkerBell car keys. Get it? Caillou and the keys? The Binky Fairy has a fantastic sense of humor.

At bedtime, Ella was fine. An hour later when she wanted her diaper changed:

Me: Ella, I'm so proud of you. You are such a big girl now!
Ella: Yeah! No more binkies!
And then we High-Fived.

Seriously? Can it be this easy? Is it possible? I've heard stories about it being this easy. I always thought they were made-up stories. You know, Feel Good Stories to make you do something that you might not want to do. Like when "they" say you forget about the pain of childbirth. When I gave birth to Ella, my epidural didn't work. I'M STILL WAITING TO FORGET ABOUT THAT.

Next day at naptime (brace yourself):

Ella: Me can't find binky. Me check in dishwasher.
Me: Remember Honey, the Binky Fairy took your binky because you are a big girl now. You don't need a binky anymore.
Ella: Me check in dishwasher. (She checks in dishwasher.) Nope, no binky!
Me: No more binky, the Binky Fairy took it. Remember?
Ella: Oh! Okay! Me like Binky Fairy! Wonder what she bring next?

And then she went to sleep. Seriously. She went to sleep. I totally fooled you with that "Brace Yourself" warning, admit it. I had to do it, because even as I reread this post, my heart starts to race a little when I get to naptime. Yep, I was so nervous that I'm still affected. Post-Traumatic Getting Rid of the Binkies Take 1 nerves.

It's been two weeks and I'm just posting this now. Why? Because I still can't believe it was that easy. I keep thinking she's going to wake up one night and start cussing "What the hell, Mommy! Where's my freakin' binky? I've put up with this for 2 WEEKS! Screw the Binky Fairy, Santa has never pulled this crap!"

But she hasn't renounced the Binky Fairy. She never even asks about her pacifier. The closest she's come is to say, "Mommy, remember when Binky Fairy brought my keys? I love Binky Fairy."

Here's to you, Binky Fairy! You made my Kick-Ass List (and that's the good one).


Beth said...

We did the nuk fairy as well, only we told him the nuk fairy was coming at night to take his nuks and she would leave a present. So we snuck in the middle of the night and took the nuks and left a present on his pillow, he only cried one night about it.

Ali Richardson said...

Great story!! I love that little girl (sorry, I mean, BIG girl). Squeeze her for me, k. xo - Auntie Ali

MySweetThree said...

Hi...I'm Kristin. And I am really excited to have found your blog! This post on kicking the binky habit had me laughing out loud..Yes, I know about how the kids looks for things...ha ha, let's just say, they get sidetracked! My little girl, who is 3 now, was addicted to her binky at bedtime until about 2 1/2, when poof, we just took it away one day...and we just "couldn't find it" huh. Go figure....but she actually did amazing about it! And sounds like your girl will do just the same, congrats! =)

Anonymous said...

So cute!

My DD's teeth were starting to protrude, so her dentist said,
"When I see you next, I want you to have gotten rid of your Nuks,okay?" DD (3 at the time) said "Okay."

Only we didn't get rid of them, so the next time we had a dentist appt - she decided to give the dentist a ziplock baggie with all of her Nuks. That was a month ago.

The past month has been awful!
She refuses to nap any more, she still cries *every* night at bedtime, and she doesn't even want her blankie anymore because it was a 'dual' thing ( suck the Nuk, rub the tag on the blankie) without the Nuk - tha blanket doesn't even soothe her.

I feel so bad. :-(

I'm happy that the Nuk Fairy worked for you, though! ;-)



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