In my drafts folder, I found a post I started several months ago about the transition off of the binky for Robby. I can’t believe I never finished it! We were so happy he said good-bye to it. Truth be told, I was really happy; Rob was sad. For him, Robby giving up the binky signified he really wasn’t a baby anymore. And, he was right. The four months since the binky went bye-bye have been filled with a rapid transition from toddler to little boy for Robby. It’s been a whirlwind. But, let’s take a moment to reflect….
When he was a baby, Robby wasn’t interested in the binky (we called it a pacifier then; “binky” came from someone at day care). I don’t remember how–perhaps teething? (that’s how Gwendolyn took to the binky)–he embraced it, but he did. Around one year, we started to pull back, restricting the binky to naptime, nighttime, and car trips. Then, we said good-bye to the car. By two, he had given up the binky at day care, only using it for three naps a week and at nighttime. At his dental check-up in the fall of 2009, the dentist said to get rid of the binky by three, so, with Gwendolyn’s arrival pending, we set that as our goal. Balancing toddler and baby was a challenge (OK, it still is!), so we focused on moving him to a toddler bed and helping him understand that smacking his new sister was not a good idea (among other things). Then, in May of this year, I took Robby to the dentist again. This time, they pointed out his bite was off, and said to get rid of the binky right away. That night, Thursday, May 13, was the last time he used it.
Two things helped us have a very rapid “au revior” to “la binky.” First, we went from many binkies all over the house, car, and diaper bag to just one on the dresser next to Robby’s bed, and we let Robby know it was the only one (we even went on vacation in April with just one binky!). Two, we introduced the Binky Fairy. (I have no idea why I used her to get rid of the binky. I chalk it up to sleep deprivation, but it turned out to be divine providence.) We told Robby that she had called, asking for his binky for the new babies. They needed binkies; big boys, like him, did not. When he got upset or said “no!,” we told him that we had asked her for more time, and that she said OK for now. Somehow, it worked.
The night of the dentist’s visit, we explained to Robby that it was his last night with the binky, and that the Binky Fairy was coming tomorrow. No discussion. He was sad, but didn’t cry or get upset. He seemed ready.
The next morning when he awoke, I slipped the binky in my pocket. Later, while Gwendolyn was napping, I took out an envelope, crayons, and stickers, and invited Robby to decorate his package to the Binky Fairy. We were going to mail his binky to her for the babies.
The finished product
The proud boy
We placed the envelope in the mail box and went about our day. While he napped, I replaced the envelope with a box wrapped up in paper and ribbon and filled with small toys (cars, little people, etc.) I had purchased off of Ebay for less than $10. He was in awe! The Binky Fairy had thanked him for his contribution in such a great way! New toys!
And, that was that. He asked for his binky once or twice after that. We reminded him that he had given it to the babies, and he seemed satisfied. And, we were thrilled.
Full disclosure: We had tried to get Robby to give up the binky about a month earlier, but it didn’t work. He woke up one day, calling the binky “yucky,” which it was (I had stopped washing it in the hope he would get grossed out by it). I put him to the bed that night without the binky. He asked for it. I reminded him that he had told me it was yucky, and explained that big boys didn’t need binkies. He was confused and quiet, but stayed in bed. Then, over the monitor, we heard him talking to his friends (his animals), asking plaintively, why, why did Mommy take away his binky? No crying, just sad. It killed Rob, so he went upstairs to check on him. While comforting Robby, our little man remembered the back-up binky in the top dresser drawer. Rob, cornered, gave it to him. I fumed, but then, agreed he just wasn’t ready. The yucky binky, though? It has a pirate on it, and was his favorite one. It is still in the top of our medicine cabinet. I just don’t have the heart to get rid of it.