Friday, January 13, 2006

It's 8 O'Clock and Do You Know Where Your Binkie Is?

It's all my fault. I should have checked the diaper bag before we left the daycare. But I didn't. Instead, we went merrily on our way. Once home we had dinner, a bath, got into the jammies, and settled down for a bottle, before night-night. It was then that I realized we were sans binkie. No problem, I thought. He's not addicted. He can manage a night without it. But he squirmed. He writhed. He tossed. He arched his body into unnatural contortions. He whined. He whimpered. He. Didn't. Fall. Asleep. This went on. And on. We have a couple of backup binkies. The Soothie was his first favorite. He used it for several months. I lost one, and we managed to survive with the remaining one until he decided he no longer liked it. I found it and tried to give it to him. But it just wouldn't do. I tried his teether binkie. He likes to chew on it, but not suck on it. He knew the difference. He spit it out and continued to writhe.

It's all my fault, this addiction. He wasn't dependent before, but a couple of months ago he started grinding his teeth and I just couldn't stand that sound. It was worse than fingernails on a chalkboard, or running your finger around the rim of a glass to make it ring. It was excruciating to hear. So I'd stuff the binkie in his mouth the instant he started grinding. Bad mother. Bad mother.

I handed the writhing unhappy and exhausted child to the husband and went upstairs in search of something I vaguely remembered stashing away with other baby things passed on from friends, over a year ago, when I was stocking up and preparing for motherhood. Aha! A bag of binkies. They weren't the right kind (when things like nipple confusion mattered), and they were used, so I'd never actually brought them out before. But this was an emergency. I gathered them all and brought them downstairs, sterilized them, cooled them down, and offered them to the unhappy child. He would have none of it. He'd open his mouth, taste it, then fling it across the room. Soon the lot of them lay scattered and dejected on the living room floor.

The husband shook his head at me and said, "That's why I always check the diaper bag before we leave." Yes. Right. But we won't go into that.

"Shall I go to the daycare and get it?" he asked. "No, it's too late," I replied. So I sent him to the store. I wanted my baby to get to sleep, poor little guy. It couldn't be just any binkie. It had to be a specific kind, and we've only seen it in two places. Babies R Us and _____. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the name of the store where we'd happened to see the exact kind in stock. I thought of getting them for backup or emergencies, but decided that the love bug is nearly a year old and should be weaning from it shortly, and surely we could manage on the two that we already have. Surely they will last as long as he needs them. Of course, a few days later I was washing one of them and noticed he'd chewed all the way through it and it had become a choking hazard. In the trash it went, with no further ado. Still, I thought we'd be able to make it with the one remaining. "Babies R Us is too far away. I think it was Albertson's", I finally said. "And if not, it's probably Price Savers or Rite Aid".

Off he went. I tried giving the boy a bottle again. His routine is to drink all but the last half ounce in his bottle, spit it out, take the binkie, and crane his head and neck into the shape of a question mark, and drift off contentedly to sleep while clutching my hand and fiddling with the heart charm on my bracelet. It's his routine. Poor little guy was so exhausted that he did fall asleep while drinking from the bottle. Daddy arrived an hour later, after going to Albertson's, Rite Aid, and having begged the checker at Price Savers, which was closed, to show him the styles they carried by holding them up to the glass of the shut door. Not the right ones. They were nowhere to be found. He finally tried Target, and what do you know. That's where we saw them!

I put my sleeping boy to bed and placed the new binkie within reach so that when he started squirming at midnight, as he always does, he would find it, place it in his mouth, and drift contentedly back to sleep.


Blogger smg55039 said...

I had a binkie till I was 4. Much to my mother's and Dentist's chagrin.

It was lost at Hershey Park once and I threw a screaming fit until it was found. Did the same when my parents tried to take it away when I got older. Got it back then too.

I did eventually give it up. Dad has it. Tucked away in a drawer with all our baby teeth - just in case I guess.

10:54 PM, January 27, 2006  

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