The Binky Debate
Ahhh. Sweet 6:00 am.
This morning I had a cup of coffee. And wow it was a damn good cup of coffee. It was a beautiful cup of magic potion, that helped me get through the day with my toddler and newborn until I could pour a glass of wine. And it was a damn good glass of wine.
Could I have made it through my day without my mommy potions?
Absolutely. I cannot promise there wouldn’t have been some additional tears, both from me AND the tiny humans, but we would have made it through. But think about it for a minute…at what point does our mental health become affected by foregoing that hot, delicious cup of energy or passing that cool, glass of peace and calmness?
Let’s be real mamas. We need our liquid courage. These things comfort us. They make us relax. They keep us sane. They ease our anxiety. They make us human.
So, let us turn to the tiny humans who force us to the Keurig at 6 am and to pop the cork at 6pm (okay, okay 5 pm). We have all these tricks and techniques that help us, as tiny human makers, keep our sanity.
You’re walking through the grocery store, trying to quickly decide if you should buy the organic pasta sauce or the cheaper (yet pretty delicious) “toxic” version. The infamous mom guilt sets in… you’re now contemplating making homemade sauce. You pull your phone out and open Pinterest to search “homemade sauce recipes.”
Meanwhile, your tiny human is intermittently whining in between verses of “Twinkle, Twinkle,” which you find adorable but your sauce isle companion seems rather annoyed. You think to yourself “I should have stuck to my friggin’ list” which would have been great if you’d remembered the friggin’ list (or even made one, depending on the day). You’re standing in the sauce isle, debating between chemical-laden, wallet-friendly jar sauce versus heading to the organic tomatoes and starting from scratch, all while praying to sweet, baby Jesus that your kid can hold it together long enough to make it to the check out isle.
Then, the mini-you loses it.
Twinkle, Twinkle has now become a tantrum consisting of a combination of demon-like screams mixed with a kill-me-now cry. What do you do?
You. Reach. For. The. Binky.
The paci, the tiny human plug that you’ve stashed deep in your purse for emergency, code blue situations such as this. Now, the angels are singing and all is right in the world. Your mini-me has settled, while vigorously sucking, and you can go back to your internal struggle over pasta sauce.
Mind you this debate cannot commence without the angry lady from the earlier concert now staring at you with the ultimate judgy face for giving your “toddler” a bink. For heaven’s sake woman, he’s 2 years old. I didn’t just give my teenager a pacifier (wouldn’t THAT be nice though?!). You weren’t happy with my future American Idol’s performance, and the tantrum certainly didn’t enrich your shopping experience, so turn your judgy face the other way and just enjoy the peace and quite-I cannot promise it will last.
We’ve all been in these situations before.
Situations where that little piece of silicone and plastic causes a situation to rapidly de-escalate and saves us from a tragic situation. Whether it be a car ride, a doctor’s appointment, nap time, etc… you’ve done it! So why do we try to hi-jack this miracle plug? How would you feel if someone told you “well, Karen, you’re 30 years old, now it’s time to be an adult and wake up without coffee”? Or “you’re not in your 20’s anymore, no more wine”! I think it is safe to say we would be throwing tantrums similar to the toddler in the sauce isle.
The horror stories run through our minds.
We have all heard of little Suzy who had to have speech therapy “because of the binky” or Johnny who had “thousands of dollars of orthodontics” all because he had a pacifier. So, if we immediately rip our child of their source of comfort once they reach a certain age, we can allegedly avoid speech and orthodontic issues.
However, we as parents will need to increase our coffee and wine to get us through that transition and we will need to shell out money for therapy when our tiny humans become teenage humans who cannot comfort themselves or ease their young adult anxiety.
Now, let me be clear… by no means am I suggesting that taking a child’s binky will result in an anxiety-ridden teenager/adult. But let’s be honest, there are far worse things in life than a child with a pacifier, and I’m more than happy to play on the irony of the dramatics surrounding taking the bink from the tiny humans.
So spare me the tips.
I’m talking about the fabulous suggestions on going “cold turkey.” Please, keep your stories about the “binky fairy” to yourself and just don’t even try telling me (my personal favorite) the tales of cutting holes in the pacifier, because sores in our children’s’ mouths are far more favorable than the detrimental effects of the forbidden bink. Turn your judgmental face the other direction while I sip my coffee in peace, all thanks to that little miracle I like to call the silicone silencer.