Life Without The Binky (aka We Survived!!)

Can I get a Hallelujah?!

Two days before his second birthday, for the first time in his life, our little man slept without his binky. And the next afternoon, he napped without one. In all honesty, between the two? Nap time is harder. It takes him longer to fall asleep. It feels like we play a game of “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.” He wants to watch a video. He wants something to chew on (two-year molars can just suck it). And then he broke the teether — chewed off the top of it. So I had to fish the pieces out of his mouth while hoping he didn’t actually swallow any pieces (he didn’t. And how did I know that? I pieced the durn thing back together just to check.). Then he wants juice. And so it goes.

So in the end, I turn off his video. I turn on his mini fan. I give him a new teether and a sippy cup with water in it. I tell him to sleep and to stay in bed. Eventually, finally, he’s asleep. Each day is a bit better. The first week, he regularly fought me for two hours before finally falling asleep and napping. I put him down at 12:30 p.m. He fought me until 2:45, then slept until 4:30. That was our afternoon. The next week, he fought me for one hysterical hour. Progress via baby steps.

Now we’re much more manageable at about 30 minutes of keeping an eye on the monitor and walking him back to bed when he gets up. He’ll usually start crying on the way back to bed right before he goes to sleep.

And how did I cut out the binky? I cut it. Literally. A little bit each day when I was easing him off of it (3 days total). Cause I’m mean that way. Enter before and after shots!

Before (Yes, its purple.)
After (Cut to the nub)

One thing I’ve noticed is that he’s talking more. He’s also a bit more frustrated/whiny because before, he’d just pop the binky in and suck. Now he’s without his comfort device and isn’t quite sure what to do.

The good news is that he isn’t trying to take the Munchkin’s binky. He’ll pick it up, say “baby” and put it in her mouth, but the whole “that one is hers” thing is cemented in his mind — thank goodness.

UPDATE! Its been three weeks or so since we started this adventure, and he doesn’t even ask for the binky anymore, unless he’s really upset about something. At this time, I’ll usually say “you’re a big boy now — you don’t need a binky!” And he’ll think about it and then say “yeah” before moving on. In terms of comforting himself, we’ve had a few more tantrums than usual, but he’s more attached to toys now.

Case in point:

Meet Giraffe and Elephant, his new partners in crime. He met these two at Toys R Us this weekend while he and dad were trying to kill time while I got some real shopping down with a sleeping Munchkin.

When we told him it was time to go home, he said “yeah!”, then picked up Elephant by his ear and held Giraffe by wrapping an arm around his neck and walked to the register with them.

As in, my two-year-old half carried/half dragged two stuffed animals that are almost as tall as him halfway through a store to the register.

Luckily for us, they were 50% off, cause all we could do was watch him — jaws agape — until he got to the line. And at that point … well … I defy ANYONE to have the heart to tell him no.

This is how they rode home. And since then, they have to be in his bed with him when he goes to sleep. He hugs one of them in each arm and nestles down. It makes finding him in the video monitor even harder — yet the picture is so much more endearing. And in the morning, he pulls them out of bed and hauls them to the front room so they can watch “Dumbo” with him. (It’s his favorite movie, although it is called “choo-choo” in our house.)

And that is how our house turned into an animal safari.

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Count It Down

Some randomness, since its all I can muster these days:

  • The boy’s birthday parties went really well. I decided to not cook and got pick-up. BEST DECISION EVER. All future parties will be catered.
  • Remember when I said the Munchkin had gas and not colic? WRONG. I should explain a bit though: After my surgery, my milk supply pretty much went belly-up. I basically nurse her 3x a day and follow each feeding up with a bottle of formula. Ze milk is GONE. So she’s a mostly formula baby. This change was not good to her. This change? Was horrifying. Screaming, inconsolable child. Miserably constipated child who couldn’t poop on her own. Wailing, flailing, desperate child and parents. Several appointments with the pediatrician ensue and we embarked on our science experiment: Which formula won’t make her scream? We stuck to the Enfamil family of products, because its the brand they had in the ICN when I had Buddy, and well — I’m what they call loyal that way.

    Anyhoo.

    We tried out FIVE different kinds of formula over the span of about two weeks. Each formula change was like the dip of a roller coaster: Will it work? Is it worse? Will ANYTHING help this kid? In the end, something helped. Its the Nutramigen formula. The hypoallergenic one. You know, the one that costs $10 more a can than all the other ones.

    But you know what? I’ll gladly pay that $10 if it means my kid isn’t in pain every single freaking night. If it means that she can poop on her own again and without pain. That’s kinda important to me. (And who’s kidding who? I’m not gonna pay the extra $10. I’ve got coupons up the wazoo and am surfing the Web for the best deals.)

  • Our backyard is a wasteland. Check that. It is THE wasteland. It consists of cement, dirt compacted into a hard surface that could probably cut glass, and a steep hill with a rotting, leaning wood retaining wall keeping it at bay. It even has rusty nails poking out of it. The hill is dotted with rose bushes sporting thorns as big as my thumb nail. I’ve seen black widows out there.

    And the child LOVES being out there. My son is an outdoorsy kind of boy. He loves to water the plants, so we bought him his own watering can. He thinks the hose is the best invention ever, and will laugh for an hour straight when the Hubbs sends streams of water into the air. Because he’s almost 2, he has two speeds: running and sprinting. Across uneven pavement with rotting, rising wood spacers reaching up to trip him. His little knees are covered in scabs and raspberries. He runs from crumbing concrete to compacted dirt and back with a gigantic smile on his face. Then he launches himself at the yard furniture, climbing

    And my heart is lodged in my throat the entire time.

    So I’ve talked the Hubbs into looking into estimates for the backyard. I’m going to bring a couple of people over to give us estimates on fixing the backyard into something safe for our kids to play in. Maybe some grass. Maybe some tanbark/mulch. Definitely a new, pushed-back retaining wall. I have big dreams. We’ll see how cruel reality is.

  • I go back to work April 20. Its so different this time. With Buddy, I was panicking about going back. This time? We know the day care providers and love them. Buddy loves them. The Munchkin has already charmed them. And there’s that small, insignificant fact, that she doesn’t have a breathing problem either. Makes life much easier, that whole normal breathing thing …
  • I’ve decided that starting Thursday, I’m breaking the boy of the binky. Notice I did not say I was going to TRY. I’m going to freaking do it. Even if it gives me hives. I’m going to do the same thing I did with the bottle: Cutting the tip off. Being that he’s getting his two-year molars in right now and has been inseparable from the binky lately, I’m making it even harder on myself. But hello? Going back to work on the 20th. Not a lot of time left.

    That’s all my brain can handle right now. Toodles!