Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Binky Intervention

I actually wasn't going to write about the Binky Fiasco -- I mean, our experience attempting to get J to stop using the binky cold-turkey. However apparently alot more people read this blog than I thought because I have had several people ask me how it went. It went....okay. In doctor-speak I would say our effort was moderately successful despite having to make unexpected adjustments to the treatment plan.

Looking back on it I know what the big mistake was. What I SHOULD have done was wait for J to wake up from a nap, and after making him "put the binky in the bed" (which is where it's supposed to stay when he's not sleeping) THEN cut the end off the binky so I could show it to him and say it was "broken." Instead, in my excitment that we were Finally Getting Rid of the Binky, I stupidly waited until right before naptime when he was overtired, snuck into his room, cut the end off the binky, put it back in the bed, and let J find it that way. In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: Big mistake. Big.

When I put J in the crib for his nap, he immediately reached for his binky. He put it in his mouth, pulled it out with a puzzled look, looked at me, and said, "Binky?" "Uh-oh," I said cheerily (another mistake, I should have acted more sad about it), "Your binky looks like it's broken. I think we'll have to put it in the garbage." When I said that, the most horrified look I've ever seen came across his face and he started sobbing. Not throwing-a-tantrum- mad-crying, but oh-my-God-my-best-friend's-dead crying. He looked SO SAD. He actually cradled the binky to his chest going, "Binky, binky, no, no, no." Then he held it out to me with the biggest trusting eyes and said really pitifully, "Mommy, pease fix it." When I told him I couldn't fix it, he really started weeping. I felt TERRIBLE. He continued to cry for 10 minutes during which he alternately clutched his blanket and tried to suck his fingers, then started softly weeping again.

So being the sucker I am, I found another unbroken binky, gave it to him, and he fell asleep for 3 hours. I don't know why this bothered me so much. It was just different than anything I'd seen from him in the past. When he was ten months old and we used the "cry-it-out" method for 3 nights to get him to sleep through the night, I was bothered but determined to see it through and never once did I waver or back down. Somehow his sad crying over the binky for 20 minutes was worse. I felt like I introduced my kid to grief. And then I started questioning my own motives: Why was I so determined to get rid of the binky RIGHT NOW? Does it really bother me that much? Or is it that I'm bothered by other people's comments about J still using the binky? It's not like he's speech delayed, or has dental disease, or even uses the binky much except for sleeping. Seriously, this whole episode turned into one of those times when you have to ask yourself if what people are telling you you should do is what you really feel in your heart is best for YOUR kid.

Sigh...so here's where we are now. We stopped taking the binky to daycare and all week he's done great taking naps without it. We'll see how naps go this weekend when he's home with me. If he asks for it at night we give it to him (which he has for the last 5 out of 7 nights). However...we have had 2 nights where he wanted to sleep with the football so bad he forgot to ask for the binky and slept just fine. This slower, easier approach to getting rid of the binky feels more right to me and less traumatic for J, which after all is the most important thing.

5 comments:

-Bridget said...

Awww! That is so sad! I probably would have done the exact same thing. Good luck when you are ready to give it a go again.

LauraC said...

Too bad it didn't work out, but it sounds like you did the right thing. We tried to take binkies away at 13 months and they completely freaked out. We caved after 5 minutes and they cried about it for an hour.

Anyway, as with everything, I think there's a right time for everyone.

LauraC said...

Too bad it didn't work out, but it sounds like you did the right thing. We tried to take binkies away at 13 months and they completely freaked out. We caved after 5 minutes and they cried about it for an hour.

Anyway, as with everything, I think there's a right time for everyone.

gLobeY said...

Oh how sad! :( I think you did the right thing. It's your kid afterall - no one else's. You know what's best.
Anytime my family or friends comment on the fact that I'm still "nursing" X (if you can even call it that anymore), I always feel like I should be weaning him off of the boobie. But ultimately, it's my son - I think I know what's best for him and to him the boobie is like a binky and I'm not sure he's ready to part with it yet. I know that time will come. It's not like he'll be asking for boobie time when he's 8, but right now - it's fine.

Hugs to you! I would have cried right along with J if I would have seen true grief come over him. I've seen it happen with X before and it just broke my heart.

JenFen said...

I think that is so cute and sad at the same time. I can just picture him mourning the loss of his broken binky. Jadyn still has a paci too and we have really gotten it down to naps and bedtime, along with really long car rides. She nows it has to be left under the pillow on her bed before getting up. I have contemplated the binky fairy or your method of cutting off the tips but atlas I have decided to wait a little longer so you are definitely not alone. Do keep us posted though. He cannot be too far off if he does not need it at daycare.