How being a parent has made me eat my own words

Total "Binkieholic"

Before I had my son, I swore that my child wouldn’t eat McDonalds or chicken nuggets. The child would eat whatever my husband and I would eat. Picky eaters wouldn’t exist in my house.

Before I was a Mom, I would never have a “crusty” kid at the mall or in public.

Before my son was born, I would never allow a toddler to have a binky.

Now that I’m a parent of an 18 month old, I  know to never say never. ESPECIALLY about parenting.

Little did I know, I would be blessed with a wonderful, smart little boy who does not eat. I’ve written many posts before about how my son was diagnosed “failure to thrive” and we’ve been going to Hasbro Children’s Hospital to figure out ways to get him to have an appetite and just eat. If my son would eat McDonald’s, I would be at that drive thru buying a Happy Meal every meal. When you have a child who has no appetite, you’d be willing to feed him whatever it takes at every meal to get him the required nutrition to grow and thrive.

Until I had a toddler, I had no idea how hard it is to keep him “crust-free.” The crust just happens. Sometimes it is not worth the battle to get the crusted on boogies off his nose during cold season. So please don’t judge me when I run into the market with a crusty-nosed kid to grab some dinner. I have to pick my battles as a toddler Mom.

I’ve also written about our battle with the binky before. The battle is still going on in our house. It seems that every time we are ready for the 3-4 days of torture, something happens: sickness, family emergency, you name it. I know, those are just excuses. We are not ready to give up the binky in our house. It’s a crutch for us all and when I have the crusty nosed toddler on a shopping trip, it is simply much more enjoyable if he has the binky with him. Honestly, I don’t know when the time is going to be right. We will be moving twice in the next 4 months, then we have a baby coming in October. At this point it seems like my dear son will be going to college with a binky. Oh well.

In my short 18 months of parenthood, I’ve learned many things. The most important is to never say never. I’ve also learned to not judge other people’s parenting, because who knows what they are going through and why that 5 year old has a binky in his mouth at the store. After all, that could easily be my crusty kid with a binky in his mouth in no time. People do what they need to do and I believe the majority of parents try to be the best parents they can be.

 

How has being a parent changed your outlook?


Becoming a pacifier-free toddler

 

 

Joanna's son at 5 months old & his beloved "binky"

 

I must disclose that we have not broken the pacifier (aka “a binky”) habit in our household, yet. My son is almost 16 months old and currently uses his binky in the crib and car.  I have also been known to sneak it in my pocket during shopping trips in case of emergency.

I decided it was time to start weaning him off the binky when he recently found one under his crib and had a massive meltdown when I told him it was not the time for his binky. I mean a major tantrum, complete with head-banging on the hardwood floor and juice cups being thrown at the dog.

I’ve asked all of my Mom and Dad friends about how they said goodbye to their kids’ pacifiers. There are a couple different theories that my friends have shared with me regarding becoming binky-free.

My favorite idea is the one my friend Neile shared: cut the tips off all the binkies in the house and quit cold turkey. You’re not the bad guy and you can console your toddler while they lament the loss of their intact binky. Another variety of this theory is to cut off the tips slowly until there isn’t much left for them to “pacify” themselves. I believe our first plan of action will be the first. After all, I live down the street from a 24 hour CVS if we HAD to get a replacement binky. There is an entire web site devoted to this theory, www.bye-bye-binky.com, if you’d like to read more.

Another theory, which would be more appropriate for an older toddler, is the “Binky Fairy.” After discussing the Fairy with your child, you set a night for the Fairy to come and take away all of his or her binkies.  The Fairy leaves a small gift for the child in exchange for all the household binkies. A variation of this theory is for the Fairy to take the binkies to a baby who needs them, maybe a little cousin or friend. Packing up all the binkies before the fairy comes can be a special going away ceremony for your toddler to participate in. I’ve also heard that Santa collects binkies for other little boys and girls during Christmas. Maybe the distraction of all the new toys would help ease the pain? I believe my son is a little too young to understand the Binky Fairy or Santa at this age, but if he was older I would definitely try it out.

These two theories were by far the most widely used in my social circle, but before my husband and I embark on this parenting journey I would love to hear your advice. Did your child use a binky and how did you say goodbye?

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