B-Day for Ben

August 16th, 2005  |  Published in old and busted  |  1 Comment

Ben in his new backpack.Sunday was “B-Day” for Ben: We’ve taken away his binky, except during naps and bedtime, which is part of our “peace with honor” approach to depriving him of vices.

The last thing to get the phaseout was bottles, which took a while. We cut him down to a pre-bedtime bottle, then slowly decreased its size by an ounce a week or so. Once we were down to two ounces, we shifted over to a night time cup of milk before bed, and we took less than two weeks to drop that.

The binky will be more of A Thing, because taking it away is less a matter of changing his routine and more a matter of taking away a vice. But nothing we’ve read indicates that it should cause any more turmoil than a few days’ worth of whining and fussing.

Yesterday was probably full of good signs, too. We spent more time in the car than we planned, and with the exception of a fit over a cup of juice and my patient attempts to introduce the idea of sharing a drink with dad (patient and doomed, that is), it wasn’t too bad. The trick seems to be keeping him from seeing it in the first place.

This morning I took him into Cherie’s and he fussed a little because he hates NPR (reliable Ben calmers seem to be the Shins and Stereolab, of which I had none in the car, OPB’s newscaster lineup makes him nuts), but he was otherwise o.k. with everything. I dropped the binky in his stuff-bag at Cherie’s and told her where to find it and when to use it. I’ll see what I get when I pick him up this afternoon. I predict he’ll be fine.

This is the kind of thing I didn’t think about much pre-parenting, so it’s a source of personal fascination now. By “thing” I guess I mean “matters of habit and routine.” With almost every change, we’ve had good luck doing things gradually, making sure one thing (the binky or bottle) doesn’t upset another (the sleep routine). I never thought these issues would be a process of increments and negotiations because that’s just not how pre-parent me framed child hypotheticals.

Update: Out on the porch this evening I said “You know … Ben was a champion about the binky thing today,” to which Al replied “We were the binky addicts.”


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