Sometimes Your Kids Can Surprise You

Some time around Christmas, I decided that Bun was going to be weaned from the binky (her pacifier for those of you who use a different term).

And I dreaded it. But I had done the research; I had gotten lots of opinions (thanks, all!) And I knew it had to be done.

I didn’t want to do it right on her birthday — happy birthday, give me that #%$* binky!

So I decided to do it the day after. I gathered up all the binkies that morning in a special “Binky Fairy” box. Bun was supposed to help me with this activity, but she ended up with one in her mouth and two in each hand. So that part of the plan didn’t work out so well. But eventually, I got them all in there.

I let Bun know that the Binky Fairy was going to come get the binkies and leave her a toy. We had been talking about this for a few days already.

I dreaded nightfall. First of all, it was the same day of my Uncle P’s funeral, and I was wiped out. Second, I just thought she would be crying all night long, and we would have a repeat of Monday night. Third, I thought it was going to take a few nights.

At the wake, I mentioned binky-weaning to a few of my cousins. Some of them had gone through it with their kids, too. The prevailing attitude was: it’s tough, but stick to it. One of my cousins said, “That was a long two weeks.”

“Two weeks!” I cried. “I read two to five days!”

She considered. “That’s probably right,” she said. “But it sure seemed like two weeks.”

B-Day came. I had already thrown away all the binkies at a remote location (the same place the Binky Fairy picked up Bun’s new toy, coincidentally enough). At bedtime Bun climbed up in my lap for her book.

I started to read.

“Binky,” Bun said. As in, “Just a gentle reminder, mommy dearest, but at this time of night I usually get a pacifier to go with my bedtime story.”

“No binky,” I said as matter-of-factly (if that’s even a word) as I could.

Bun started to slide out of my lap. “Binky!” she said more firmly. As in, “I think you misunderstood me, mother. Or you clearly as losing your wits. I get a binky, woman, and I get it now.”

I pulled her back onto my lap. “Do you want a book, or do you want to go to bed?”

“Binky?” with hope in her little voice.

“No binky,” I reminded her gently. “Book?”

So we read a book. She needed to be rocked an extra 10 minutes. And then, after I got Monkey in bed, another 15 minutes. And then she cried piteously for half an hour.

And then she fell asleep. And although I heard her fussing a couple of times in the night, she did not wake up screaming for her binky.

Last night, she asked for her binky once. She didn’t need any extra rocking. And she just fell asleep.

I am sure that by writing about it, I will have jinxed it.

But maybe not. Maybe I overestimated the role of the binky in Bun’s life.

We’ll see. Could it really be this easy? Oh, man, I hope so.