Bye, Bye Binky

Few things are more frightening for parents than knowing a transition looms.

“We have to potty train this peeing, pooping machine?”

“What happens when this kid learns that he can get out of his big boy bed at all hours of the night?”

“Dear God. Our daughter is dating. I’m going to hide under the bed for the next 12 years.”

A few weeks ago, my wife and I faced such a transition. It involved a 2-year-old and his favorite pieces of plastic and rubber, his calming, soothing, nap time and bed time buddies, his binky’s. You must understand that this child had an unhealthy connection to these simple objects. We caught him on numerous occasions scaling great heights by stacking chairs, toys, boxes and anything else he could find to grab the binky’s off of his changing table. Periodically, he would snag them while we were occupied and hide with them to get in a few precious sucks. When we told him he could only have them when he slept, it was as if he was mortally wounded.

In other words, when we decided to take them from him for good, we feared the wrath of a scorned child who has the power to make our lives a living hell.

My wife, God bless her, was inspired. “Let’s tell him the Binky Fairy is coming to take his binky’s and she’ll leave him a new nighttime toy,” she told me.

“Perfect,” I said. “But this toy better be magical.” For days, we fretted. There was no toy that could replace the irreplaceable.

Then we found it. A safari Jeep filled with stuffed animals. Next to his binky’s, animals often soothe and comfort our little guy. It was a natural fit.

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One evening we informed him that the Binky Fairy removed his binky’s after nap time and left him a present in return. He loved it. He carried the Jeep around with him for hours. Mommy and I exchanged hopeful glances. The kind of hopeful glances that say, “I pray this kid sleeps through the night or else I’m getting a hotel room.”

As night rolled in, the boy asked for his binky’s. We sweated. We worried. We reminded him of the Binky Fairy. We might as well have been reminding him to brush his teeth. He didn’t want to hear it.

After bath and books, he clutched his blanket and animals. He seemed to understand that something was different, but not altogether bad. We laid him in his crib, told him we loved him and held out hope that we’d all survive the night.

We did. And we have in the weeks since. Against all odds, this transition passed without bloodshed, busted eardrums or going back on our word and returning the binky’s to his hopeful mouth.

At this rate, maybe potty training will be a breeze.

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The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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