Internet, my son is an addict.
To make things worse, Jack is not addicted to something awesome like, for example, running or coffee. Instead, he is hooked on the dangerous entity known as binkies.
Observe the addict double-fisting binks.
Jack is almost four, and therefore getting way too old for binkies, even by my own fairly liberal standards. A few months ago, we were at Target and Jack asked to go browse the binky aisle. When I asked him why, he said, "Oh, just to look and see if they have anything new and cool." Clearly, if you are keeping track of Nuk's Fall 2008 Color Story, it's time to give them up.
We've been kind of weaning him away from binkies, limiting them to bedtime and rest time only and encouraging him to get rid of his binky as early as possible after waking. We have also reminded him several times that when he turns four, no more binkies. He accepted that since his birthday feels a million years away.
But yesterday, Jack and I were browsing at Build-A-Bear. Naturally, he was interested in doing more than just window shopping, so I saw an opportunity. I told him that he could get a new stuffed animal right then and there... if he exchanged it for all of his binkies. He agreed so quickly that I reminded him of exactly what the deal was - no binkies at all, ever again. Not at rest time, not to sleep, not in the morning. He was still game, even suggesting that we could take all of his binkies and mail them to Aunt Jenny, who is having a baby in a few months who would surely need them.
Jack selected a stuffed elephant, that being his favorite animal, and after trying on several outfits, decided up on a Santa suit. Jack and I told every associate in the store about how Jack was trading his binkies for Elephanty, and what a big boy he is. As you might imagine, the Build-A-Bear staff is well-versed in the fine art of Making A Big Deal Out Of Things and told Jack what a good choice he had made and how he is clearly sophisticated and ready to give up binkies.
At home, we packed all of the binkies into an envelope for the new baby. Here he is saying goodbye to one and hello to Elephanty.
Jack had a hard time settling in to sleep last night. I figured he would, given that he has literally never fallen asleep without a binky in his entire life. At one point, he came and said, "I need something to suck on," and so great was my empathy that I managed not to respond, "That's what she said." This morning, he told me that he missed his binky and wished he could have it back. He wasn't really angling for me to return it, but rather just telling me how he felt. I told him that I know it's not easy, but that he went all night without it, and that it would be easier every single day. Together, we will get through this period of detox.