Monday, September 22, 2008

The tale of two binkies

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Okay, not really but I had to start that way. So, I saw my sister's blog with her little guy and his binky and thought I would share how we got the binkies away from R-guy. It is a sad tale and not our proudest moment as parents. Maybe it can help someone out there...

About 6 months ago, R-guy had just turned 3 so we decided it was time to get rid of the binkies. After age 2 years, binkies are only for the bed and are a powerful parent ally by making bedtime or naptime desirable events. However, after 3 years of age, we (as parents pretending to know what we are
doing) decided that it was time to say goodbye. We choose to use the same plan that had worked well for big J: the goodbye binky party and binky fairy bribe. I was nervous about doing it for Jacob because it is deceptive (but so is Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy) but it seemed to work OK, so we tried it again. The plan goes like this: You tell your child that it is time for the binky fairy to come and get the binkies (you can add that the binky fairy gives them to new babies, if they ask). The binky fairy will come and take the binkies and leave a present, whatever you want - within reason. When the child decides they are ok with that, you pretend to call the binky fairy to schedule the pick-up, let the fairy know the wish list, and set a date. Then, you have a goodbye binky party on the scheduled night: make decorations, order pizza, make cupcakes, invite relatives, and give the child lots of attention. After the party, the 3 year old is supposed to take the binkies, put them in a special box, and put them on the porch for the binky fairy to get them. Then in the morning, presents are waiting to help erase the sadness of the binkies leaving.

Everything was going well at the goodbye binky party until it was time to put the binkies in the box and say goodbye. The R-guy even had two binkies to say goodbye to: one for the mouth and one to rub on his cheek so maybe that made it twice as hard. Whatever it was, he started to freak out, running around the house, hitting me, crying uncontrollably, hiding under things. Some of this is captured on film (see below). We finally calmed him down and got him - on his own - to put the binkies in the box and put it outside. As parents, we were feeling HORRIBLE. I wanted to cry but knew we had to follow through. That night, as we put the R-guy to bed, John said "We love you" and the little guy replied "I love my binkies". It was a sad moment. He was able to go to sleep without them, which surprised me. The next morning the fairy presents (we had to get him 2, one for each binky) helped the sadness a bit but he was sad for many days. Even yesterday, R-guy told John that he still missed his binkies. I keep hoping this memory will fade away and we won't have to hear for years about how we scarred him for life by taking away his binkies.

The pictures below document some of the night. It is still sad for me and R-guy to look at the pictures. I am not sure I would call the plan a success. The binkies are gone, but the pain...

Having fun with aunt and uncle - starting to look a little worried.

Hiding with the binkies

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (literally), he puts the binkies in the magic box for the fairy to come and get them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our pathetic blog

Our sad little blog has not had any posts for over a month and I will tell you exactly who is to blame for this: the computer. Now, don't think I am trying to push the blame off to someone else and not take responsibility for my actions - it really is the computer's fault! Seriously, this computer is old (at least 10 years) and so very SLOW. So slow you want to choke the mouse. But anyway, it has been an exciting month. Some highlights:

* Alison turned 1 month and 11 1/2 pounds and is nearing 2 months and 12? 13? pounds
* Summer soccer and t-ball ended
* We overcame our end-of-the-Olympics pains. The boys love to pretend they are Michael Phelps whenever we go swimming.
* Aunt Katy came for a visit and took the boys on several fun trips
* Grandma and Grandpa Young came down to visit Alison
* We took a last day of summer vacation trip to the Oakland Zoo
* Jacob started kindergarten!
* Ryan started preschool!
* I became officially un-disabled (according to the State of California) after giving birth
* I became a homework helper
* We took a family ferry ride to SF and visited some tourist spots with the kids (I think their favorite part was seeing "the bush man" at Fisherman's wharf. Most of you know what I am talking about - the guy disguised as a plant who scares people for money. Jacob was scared of him at first but for days after, that was all they could both talk about.
* Alison slept for 7 hours straight one night!!
* Our summer garden came to end except for some tomatoes on the blossom rot damaged plants and a second crop from our cantaloupe, banana squash, and pumpkin plants. We just need a few more weeks of warm weather for the second crop to fully ripen.

Here are some selected photos from the last month.

The two youngest

Gramps & Grandma S and Aunt Katy

The family at "the bench"*

Beautiful day in SF

Grandpa Y and the kids

Jacob and his homework helper

* John's eagle scout project at a regional park in SJ. It is about an hour hike uphill to get there. For some reason, we decided to go on the Saturday Katy was in town. It was a super hot day and Alison was just a few weeks (like 2) old. Amazingly enough, the boys hiked the whole way and we did not have to carry them at all but it did help to have Katy there. It was a fun afternoon.