Monday, November 17, 2008

Kicking the Habit

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.

13 comments:

joyRuN said...

Congrats! That's an awesome milestone :)

My son gave his up easily. My daughter, less so. But I can't remember how we finally got her to give them up (about a year ago). I guess it was that traumatic, I blocked it out.

newsjunkie said...

Way to go Mom!! Good choice of trade, I'd do just about anything for a new Build-a-Bear animal!!

My nephew Vinny spit his binkie out when he was 2 days old, but my sister's kids had them much longer. I think Damien was almost 4 when he completely gave his up, and Faith is almost 3 and still has hers for naps and bedtime--and as often as she can sneak it in between.

tfh said...

Wow! The way he handled that was pretty impressive. Props to both of you.

Lama Mama said...

"That's what she said" - HA, you are killing me!

Very good parenting, by the by! Love the trade-off idea and what a big boy to go along with it without any problem! Ah the power of a stuffed animal....

Marcy said...

YAY!! That's awesome!! Shut Up Plugs are hard to get rid off LOL As soon as both the kids were born, they were SO popped into the mouth HAHA

Runnergirl said...

That is a great milestone! My daughter is still hooked on the bottle.. she is 2 1/2~ Maybe I should take her to Build a Bear!

audgepodge said...

Aww... what a grown up boy! Good luck with the detox.

And I love that stuffed elephant - what a cutie.

Nitmos said...

Both of my kids had them yanked from them on a day of my choosing. And, thankfully, they never really complained about it. I bet your boy never mentions it again after 2-3 days. I hope, anyhow, for your sake.

The Happy Runner said...

I feel a little guilty laughing at your sons addicted and subsequent detox. But, really, that is just too funny! Good luck with all that!

Lisa said...

WTG Jack!! Congrats on becoming a "big boy." My son was a late binkie user. I think I was almost as addicted as he was for a while. They soothed him so well. We didn't do the cold turkey thing. I just stopped buying them. They got little holes in them or separated from the plastic and they just didn't give him the same satisfaction. One day I realized that he hadn't had one in a few days. We were done.

My daughter never took one. Part of me was relieved not to have to deal with a walking, talking toddler with a binkie. But when there was nothing other than nursing that would sooth that girl, I was wishing for the binkie.

I agree with a previous comment... in a few days, he will barely remember something that was once so important to him.

Congrats!!!!

Steve Wasser said...

Is now a bad time to tell you I've taken up smoking?
---Steve

K said...

That's what she said. Heh.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

HA HA, loved your natural response. Such empathy, such control. :D I've missed you and the Jack stories. Such a clever mom you are. I wonder what Steve is wanting to trade for the smoking??? hee hee.