The time has come. Well, actually, the time came long long ago I just nervously brushed it off and kept on trucking. But the time REALLY came and I finally sucked it up and put on my big girl pants and did something about it. And herein lies the tale of the “Binky Fairy”.
Just to put it out there…. I have been embarrassed that my 3.5 year old still uses a pacifier for a long long time. I’d see other kids out with binkies in their mouths, younger than she, and would think how odd it looks for such a big kid to have one. But there I was myself, living with a child that needed at least 5 binkies on her person to take a nap or go to bed or even ride in the car. She was so beyond obsessed with these little suckers, literally, that I was petrified of the fallout from taking them away.
I’d heard all the ideas… tie them to a balloon and set them off into the air, bring them to Build-A-Bear and have them stuffed inside a teddy bear so she’ll still know its there, the Binky Fairy, cold turkey, slowly weaning, etc… I decided my whimsical child would die 1000 deaths no matter how I took them away, so I might as well try and make it a little magical just for fun. So the Binky Fairy route was the plan.
It started off of Sadie’s prompting really. She’s been potty trained for a long while now, but still had her little potty in her room that she would use most of the time. One day she said that she thinks she has outgrown her little potty. I, overjoyed with the idea of not emptying her potty several times a day, said yes! you have outgrown your potty! And I tucked it away in the garage. The next day or so, Sadie said to me, “Mom, what else am I outgrowing?” So, I just sort of went for it. I said, “You know what, you’re kinda outgrowing your binkies.” And I told her all about when she really did outgrow them for real, the Binky Fairy would come and take them and leave them up with the stars. But she would bring a present for her in their place. I asked her what she hoped the Binky Fairy would leave for her, she thought a lollipop sounded good. She asked me when the Binky Fairy was coming, and I told her I didn’t know. But she would come when she was sure that the binkies had been officially outgrown.
We talked about this here and there for about a week or two. And then one day last week you know what happened? That lovely little Fairy came to visit while Sadie was at school and did her thang.
She didn’t just take the binkies and leave a gift. She had a PARRRTY in Sadie’s room to celebrate how proud she was of Sadie. She left streamers, balloon and glitter (all in pink and purple – Sadie’s fave colors, of course) and she did indeed leave Sadie a lollipop as well as a toy kitty and a little note.
When Sadie came home from school, she took off to her room right away – I assume to look for her binkies. She saw the streamers, and said, “Whoa! What the heck happened here mom?!” “Is it my party?” “Is it my birthday?!” I told her I had no idea what happened, but it was so exciting. But soon enough we found a note. The note was to Sadie from the Binky Fairy. In it, she told Sadie how proud and excited she was for Sadie. She said outgrowing your binkies is a really big deal and she was so happy for Sadie that she wanted to throw a party and leave her some gifts to celebrate. In reading this to Sadie, I tried to keep up the super excited atmosphere while trying to gauge a feeler on what emotions were brewing in Sadie. She seemed to completely understand what happened, there was no false delusion that her binkies got left behind. She really seemed to comprehend that they were gone and that was that. She outgrew them. And apparently she was totally cool with that.
The entire day went on like that. I was amazed. She never once asked for them or about them. Then night came and I was already amped to pull an all nighter, knowing that there was no way in hell she would go to bed or stay asleep without them. I mean, she never ever had before! But nope, night came and off to sleep she drifted, without a word of them. This continued for several days. It had been about 3 days or so before she even made note of them. And still, to this day she has never cried or tantrumed about not having them.
I feel like such a dunce! If I had just known it was going to be this easy I would have done it years ago! I’m still shocked at how well she took it. I really honestly don’t believe it. I spent years worrying about this day. And it was about as traumatic as giving her candy. I guess she was just, ready.
Goes to show you – so many of our setbacks and errors in parenting are often driven by the parents’ hangups and emotions. I am constantly surprised at how well kids adjust and adapt if you just give them the chance.