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The binky

About when my son turned two years old, we took away his binky and his bottle.

He went about his days as if little changed in his life. He asked for each a few times and when we told him they were gone, he went and found something else to occupy his time. It was never a big issue.

As I have said before, karma has a way of coming around. My daughter has the opposite attitude regarding her binky and bottle. It’s one of those things that I halfway cringe in admitting… yes my two year, three month daughter is heavily addicted to her binky and showing no signs of surrender.

We used to go through binkies like they were going out of style with her. If a few got lost, we bought a few more. Recently, I told her that when her current two are gone, that is it. She has since amazed me with her memory skills. She meticulously places her binkies on her bed each morning and covers them up with a blanket. They are then waiting for her at bedtime. And these two binkies have hung out for longer than I care to admit.

If only my husband had similar resolve when it came to his wallet.

Awhile back I suggested that we might consider giving the binkies to our friends' brand new baby. At first, that was seeming like it had merit. Then, she declared that the baby could buy her own binky.

A good friend suggested a few weeks ago that she heard about a daycare teacher through some friend who on the second birthday made a big deal about the child being done with the binky and part of the birthday celebration included throwing away the binkies. She told me this six weeks after my daughter’s second birthday.

I was reading a friend’s blog who lives in Utah whereby a binky fairy (like the tooth fairy) came and took her nearly two and a half year olds binkies (see I am not the only mom whose toddler still has a binky!) and the fairy left some toys.

This struck me as a great idea! I decided that the “fairy princess” (since my daughter is starting on that great princess stage) would come and take her binkies and leave her toys in exchange. To set the stage even better, I promised cupcakes as well.

At first, it was seeming as though it was going to work. When a doll blanket went missing she declared simply, “The princess took it.” I was feeling good about this.

Then one evening, my daughter was going to bed, thrashing about in her bed and the binky fell out of her mouth. I saw where it landed and then get covered by a blanket. About five minutes later, my daughter asked “my binky?”

“ I don’t know where it is,” I fibbed. “Maybe you could try going to bed without it?”

At that point my daughter sat up on her knees and belted out at the top of her little lungs:

“PRINCESS! YOU BRING BACK MY BINKY! MEAN PRINCESS!”

I was laughing so hard I could hardly stand it. Then it dawned on me as her lip started to quiver that I didn’t have a present, or cupcakes. And no way was I going and making cupcakes at 9pm on a weeknight. I fished around the bed and pulled our her binky.

With the binky firmly planted in her mouth she mumbles, “princess buy her own binky”.

I still had tears rolling down my face from giggling so hard at her expense. I relayed the story to my husband (the pushover when it comes to his little girl).

“Is it THAT important that she gives up her binky?” he asked.

“Oh, probably not,” I admitted. After all, she only uses it when falling asleep.

“Then it just isn’t worth this level of trauma!” he insisted.

It’s been two weeks since the princess fiasco and my daughter has continued to worry about the princess coming and taking her things -- not just her binky. A friend of mine offered up that I may not have to go through the annoying “princess stage” now.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case either. The princess stage is setting in… but among Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine and others there apparently does not exist “The Binky Princess”.

I have one more trick up my sleeve recommended to me by another friend. A trip to the Build a Bear factory where we make a Binky Bear and forever embed the binkies in fluff inside a bear that she can forever snuggle with.

Though my husband worries this may encourage her to learn how to handle scissors at a young age.

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