Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Binky's Demise

Ding, dong, the binky's dead! Which old binky? The bedtime binky! We are 100% binky free!

Wow, if I had known life without the binky would be this easy, I would have banished it ages ago. But I think a month of talking about being a big girl (and reading the book I made for her) really helped Penny to prepare for the inevitable. Nights have been a piece of cake, although the afternoon nap has been more of a battle, which is exactly the opposite of how I thought it would go.

When I told Penny that the binky was gone, she was sad. She was beyond sad, she was visibly aggrieved. And I was sad too, I truly was, because the whole thing had been my fault to begin with. I'm the one who got her hooked on it in the first place, and I'm the one who didn't take it away sooner. I'm the one who had to devise a cunning plan to be rid of it, who compiled advice (solicited and otherwise) and gathered enough ideas to fill a tome, something I'll call "The Big Book of Binky Extraction."

But Penny's binky grief ended when she realized it was nap time, and thus decided to spend her energy negotiating for more play time. Ordinarily, she would have been won over by one satisfying binky, but now that my ace in the hole (pardon the expression) was gone, I was not prepared to deflect the relentless stalling techniques of my toddler. I had no idea she was so crafty! She pulls out all the stops when it's time to lie down, and it almost works, until I remember that I am actually still the boss around here. I hate those little spells of amnesia.

That first day was hard, I won't lie. There was screaming, 40 whole minutes of howling, "5 more minutes! 5 more minutes! Mama! Mama!" during which I went in her room (and stood at her doorway) several times to remind her that it was, in fact, nap time. I know she was mad because she didn't want to nap, but I think there was also some underlying anger about the binky's demise, anger she couldn't put into words ("You're a monster, mother!"). Furthermore, it is my observation that there is a relationship between the actual need for a nap and the resistance a child puts up, which is to say, the more Penny needs a nap, the harder she tries to convince me she doesn't need one.

The next day, there were 10 minutes of furious anger, followed by 1 minute of minor fussing on the third day. Meanwhile, night time has been considerably easier, in fact, I think she sleeps better without the binky at night, because she doesn't wake up and wonder where it's gone off to. And better yet, she doesn't wake me up to help her find it in the dark. The first night, instead of crying out for the binky, she woke to report, lucidly, that the cat was being "really silly," then she rolled over and went back to sleep. And she's slept all night since.

And now, Penny tells me, "Binky all gone. I a big girl now." It's her mantra. And it sort of makes me want to cry. Because if I had my druthers, she could keep the damn binky, if she would stay little forever.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

I need to borrow your book! What a great idea. Fern has a binky and she still drinks milk out of a bottle. And I'm just hoping she outgrows it someday....fat chance???