Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Tale of the Binkie Fairy

I know I quickly alluded to the fact that the Binkie Fairy made a stop at our house a couple weeks ago and I feel like I should expound on that statement with some background and an update on how it went.  In case you haven't noticed from my many, many photographs, my children love their binkies.  We are binkie people.  My children are binkie children and they were binkie babies.  Jax has been sucking on one since the day he was born.  Literally.

Don't you just love newborn splotchy skin and cone head?  So attractive.

Em was a little bit harder to convince.  I was terrified of the dreaded nipple confusion so often hammered into the brains of nursing mothers that we live in horror of putting a pacifier in our children's mouths for fear that we may "confuse" them somehow.  That sounds stupid even now, one year later.  Why did I even listen to that?

So we didn't give Em her first binkie until she was 3 weeks old and it went very badly.  I bought every brand under the sun and finally had some success with the gigantic Soothie.

It wasn't until she was about four months old (right when I started weaning her...hmmm...maybe there is a connection) that I got her to use good old fashioned Nuks.

I couldn't even find a photo of her with a Nuk until December, when she was seven months old, unlike nowadays, when I can't take a photo of her without it.  I will blame it on teething, even though there are no new teeth in sight.  Bottom line is girl loves her binkie as much as her brother.

So back to Binkie Fairy.  This month there was an influx of Tooth Fairy episodes on our favortie Disney Channel cartoons.  Julietta lost a tooth on Handy Manny.  Shark lost a tooth on Word World.  Thought it might be a good idea to broach the subject of another fairy that takes things away and leaves in their place fantastic presents: the Binkie Fairy.  A lesser known fairy, but infinitely more powerful.  Because she takes away something that seems to be stuck in my kids' mouths rather than taking away something that had fallen out.

Jax, 7 months old

When I mentioned the Binkie Fairy to Jax, he was fired up.  The important question was would the Binkie Fairy be bringing him a lollipop, too, like Shark?  Even better, I told him, since the basketball net we had ordered was waiting for pickup at Walmart.  She'll bring you a BIG present.  He was sold and was happy to drop off his binkie in the nearest bucket to await the Binkie Fairy's arrival.

Jax, 13 months, before his first haircut

We talked about it for a week before D Day, and he seemed completely fine about it.  We'd ask him if the BF was coming and he'd reply, Yes, and she's going to leave me a BIG present.  Even the night of the impending binkie-ectomy, he seemed fine.  When he woke up the next morning at 5 a.m. to discover his binkie was gone, he couldn't go back to sleep without it but he was psyched about the basketball net!  Binkie momentarily forgotten, toy amnesia in full effect.

Jax, 18 months

And that's pretty much how it went.  He'd ask for the binkie two or three times a day, we'd distract him with his awesome new basketball net and he'd move on.  He still went to sleep at the end of the day okay.  He was waking up a little earlier because he has no other self-soothing skills, but we figured he'd grow out of that.  Overall, binkie extraction was a success!

Jax, 26 months

Except that it wasn't.  That first week was the hardest week I've had since Emmy was a newborn.  Remember how our cool outdoor treasure hunt turned into a big disaster with the three of us crying on my kitchen floor?  That's how the whole week was.  My mom kept calling and asking me, "Are you alright?"  I burst into random tears that week for no reason more than once.  But in reality, there was a reason, and it wasn't nostalgia that my little boy was growing up.  It was exhaustion.  Pure and simple.

Jax, 29 months

 Since the day we took his binkie away, Jax stopped napping.  I know that that is a normal event that happens during toddlerhood and before this, he was only napping about 50% of our days.  But the fact was that without his binkie, he couldn't nap.  Yeah, he falls asleep in the car on occassion without it, but otherwise, the kid is a devout binkie sucker in his sleep.  He still needed it.  And he was picking up another unattractive habit--sticking his fingers in his mouth which is both dirty and drooly.  I would rather have a kid with a binkie in his mouth than his whole hand in there.  By the end of the first week, he was exhausted and irritable, which made me oh-so-pleasant to be around, and since I never had any downtime to blog, I was staying up later than usual.  Oh, and Em still wasn't sleeping through the night.  Overall, extreme exhaustion running rampant in our household, and both Jax and I were miserable to be around.  The question kept running through my mind, Why did we do this again?  and I would say to my friends and family, If I had known he would stop napping, I never would have taken it away.

So on day seven, with no nap in sight and another exhausting afternoon on the horizon, I called JDubbs and asked him if it would be okay if I gave him back his binkie.  I didn't need his permission; I just needed someone to tell me it was okay; that I wasn't a failure.  We all needed some quiet and if the binkie was going to be our passport back to naptime, then so be it.  JDubbs agreed and I went in to explain to Jax that the Binkie Fairy had come back and said that she knew Jax wasn't ready to give up his binkie and would he like it back?  And you know what the little bugger said?

Do I have to give back my present?

No, you little pain-in-the-you-know-what, but here's your binkie and there's your basketball net and for the love of God, please take a nap!  And then, within five minutes, he did.

And has every day since.

So, we'll see how the Tale of the Binkie Fairy ends.  Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll just quit the binkie one day.  Maybe BF will have to return; perhaps I'll get a 2-for-1 deal and she'll take Em's, too.  Regardless, Jax wasn't ready for it, and apparently neither was I.  We all need our downtime in the afternoon, be it a nap or just some mindless time in front of the tv.  I've made a few mistakes as a parent and they usually involve me not trusting my instincts.  This one was easy.  He wasn't ready and no one was happy.  Now we are all happy again.  To me, that'll be worth the money we'll spend on orthodontia when he's a teenager!


An Irish Italian Blessing said...

Lol, I admire that you even tried it! MY little one is 21 months and I wouldn't even consider not giving her a paci for her crib. No way, no way, no way. I just keep hoping one day she'll be over it (notta chance but I can hope right?)

Karen said...

Hahahahahahahaha I swear we share the same mini mommy world! I was wondering if the fairy should return, after reading this I may wait a little longer. Who cares if Kyle is 3 LOL

melody-mae said...

oh, I feel for ya sweetie. We had thumb suckers here in our house which is super hard to quit...the thumb fairy cannot come over ya know? LOL There were nights of me laying with them rubbing their face, arms whatever just to get them to sleep!!! Now, my granson Jack had a 'mr. bink' and my daughter took it away a bit after his first bday...with no problem, unlike his mom who wore me out with the constant "rub my arm until I fall asleep" stuff...each one is different, maybe Em will have an easier go...regardless there is no written rule on what is right or wrong and peace and quiet for you is paramount in my book!!!!

Zeller Family said...

I just busted out laughing at work!!!! I haven't taken J's binky away yet because it's the only thing that gives us sanity at our house...sleeping without it is IMPOSSIBLE! I hope one day he gets over it...but until then the binky is our friend ;) Via never took one but I seem to not be able to wean her from the boob, soooo....I hear ya sister! When they are all grown we are going to have some cute stories for them. I'm glad you gave the binky back...sounds like he was traumatized ;)

Alicia Stucky said...

We are in need of a Binky update too. Matthew willingly cut up every single last one of his binkies over the coarse of about a week. We took him out for ice cream at Friendly's to celebrate, and the very next day on our way to church he found one hidden under the seat of the truck.

And he has guarded that sucker with his freaking life. He slept a sinlge night without the binky and when I asked him how my big boy slept the next morning he said, "No very good, mommy. Not very good at all."

Stacey said...

I'm going to try to get rid of it by the time he's a year old...we'll see how that works out.

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Anonymous said...

Oy! I would have given it back too! All of mine decided by the time they were 4 months that if there was no food in it, they didn't want it. The tough one for us is the sippy cup.

Michelle Cappiello said...

I feel for you too! I've got a 15 month old with a binky which I haven't even thought of the binky fairy yet and an almost 4 yr old who is still sucking her thumb like a champ. I have no idea how I'm going to get her to stop!

On another note, thanks for stopping by Baby Coupons & Stuff tonight! Much appreciated!

Good luck with the whole binky thing!


Jill said...

I have never heard binkie before!!

I don't usually comment on cute kids, but you have them! Great pictures!

I am following from the blog hop.

Please feel free to drop over to our kid friendly blogtoo!


Jessica said...

Good luck! All the transitions from baby to toddler have scared the crap out of me. We did manage to get the paci away (we traded a paci for a stuffed puppy that C now sleeps with every.single.night. Maybe that would work for Jax? Replacing one soother with another?), but I was so afraid of how it would affect her sleep. Mommies need sleep too! I am equally fearful of the toddler bed and potty training, both of which need to happen this summer. Eeek!

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Omg but what a cutie

Ashley D. said...

Wow! I think your awesome for even giving it a shot! My nephew is almost 4 years old and my sister isn't even willing to attempt it! So, kudos to you! Alas, my daughter NEVER took a pacifier. We tried every kind under the sun and she just would not take one. Now, in hindsight, I am kind of glad, but let me tell you breaking her of her bottle back in January was AWFUL! So, I feel ya!

Hang in there! Just stopping by from WOB Wednesday!

Sarah E. said...

My kids only used their binkies for sleepy time and I had decided that I was going to bite the bullet and get rid of the binkies. My son was nearly 3 (a month shy) and I knew that he was getting too old for the binkie and he wasn't even using it anymore as a binkie! He wasn't sucking on it at all. I had let him keep it because I felt guilty that it was his only soothing thing when he woke up in the middle of the night scratching his skin (eczema).

On my daughter's 2nd birthday, they both had a really good day and I decided it was time to get rid of the binkies. I threw all the binkies away and didn't talk about them at all. Neither child asked for them and we never looked back! I was completely shocked at how quickly we just stopped with no fuss.

Just remember...they won't go to school with a binkie in their mouth...so don't stress too much :]

LifeBelowZero said...

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Shala said...

I don't have kids but I have worked with them for 11 years and I know THEY NEED THAT NAP. Do what you gotta do, girl.

Your pics are so precious.

Dawniebee12 said...

Glad he's napping again! I don't know what I would do without downtime. I would go bonkers!