Monday, November 10, 2008

Rite of Passage

Only Child is on a three-step program to lose the binkie.

Now that he can articulate all the reasons why he needs and loves it, he's probably old enough to understand that it's bad for his teeth. Right?

This has been a source of disagreement between MMA & Superstar for, ohhhhh, about 18 months now. MMA thinks he'll drop the binkie when he's good and ready and "what does it hurt to allow him a simple pleasure." He's also mentioned that Only Child looks so darn cute in his jammies with his blanket and binkie...clearly daddy's got a soft spot.

Until now, my efforts have been half-hearted. But I was given friendly, professional permission to get rid of it by any means necessary. Only Child is ready. He is happy and well-adjusted. Its not like we're getting rid of Lightening McQueen, by God. The real question is, am I ready?

So today, despite the nasty drizzle and dropping temperatures we went to the park near our house to throw the binkies in the lake. We made up a cute story about how he didn't need them anymore because he's getting so big, but the baby alligators in the water did need them.

We kept just one binkie, and later, with encouragement, he will give that one to the alligators, too. Then we're going straight to HEB, his favorite store, to get some homemade tortillas and pick out a big boy surprise from the toy department.

Only Child was hesitant when we got to the lake. He asked me more than once if his binkies could stay in the car while we played.

"No, sweetie, if we get out of the car, we're throwing the binkies in the lake."

"But, if you'd rather wait (it was so ugly and I just flat-ironed my hair) we can come back tomorrow." I'll admit to sentimental second thoughts.

I made sure he understood what is a hard lesson for anyone, especially a three year old. That is, if you throw "it" in the lake, you can't get it back. But maybe you'll get something even better because you were brave.

So in the end, he made the decision to go for it. He gave them each a little kiss, said good-bye and tossed them in. He was not dispirited at all. We watched them float for a little bit and then he ran around in the rain with furious energy. If there was a heavy heart, it was mine.

By the time we got home he was shivering and asked me to make him feel better. So I wrapped my baby boy in blankets and gave him hot chocolate with marshmallows and we called daddy to tell him the good news.

Dreary-almost-winter days are a perfect excuse to put the house work on hold and cuddle over hot chocolate with your best little guy who still needs you.

So the rite of passage I wanted to tell you about is not "baby loses binkie." It's "mom accepts another bittersweet milestone of watching baby grow into a man."

5 comments:

Tooj said...

Aaaahhhh...it's always so much harder on us than them. For everything I think. :) Your post reinforced why I threw the binky out when he got his first tooth...I'm not sure I'd have had the heart to take it away when he was older, and could talk to me, and rationalize. I'm more sympathetic to him OLDER than I was when he was a baby and I could make all the decisions!

Girly Stuff said...

I got all misty reading it! I can't believe he is so big. I remember being in the hospital room with you guys and watching MMA change his diaper. He was all gentle.

So congrats on another milestone!

I just realized he was potty trained before he gave up the binkies! Ha!

Aggie2percenter said...

Are we moving too fast here?

Christie said...

I have to laugh at you not wanting to go out in the rain with your flat hair. RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.

Michelle said...

Very adorable story. I have an almost 2 year old who will challenge me on the binkie issue soon. LOL! It is great to know I'm not alone :)