We caved. After 3 days of being binky free, Maria wasn’t coping well. The first 36 hours were okay; she went to bed easier than expected and napped okay the first day. The 2nd night, bedtime took two hours and nap was a struggle. Night three she fought going to bed and woke numerous times during the night and was on a hair trigger during Thursday’s nap. Jeremy had a growing concern that she just wasn’t ready or emotionally capable of giving up her binky. Grant might have done remarkably well, but they are different children and have different needs.

Jeremy recalled the episode of Sesame Street and kept telling me that it was about Baby Bear making the decision to give up the binky…not someone else making it for her. Maria’s behavior was more erratic and her sleep disturbances were also causing Grant not to sleep as well. He had dark puffy circles under his eyes and was also acting out. We had one spare pacifier stashed in the back of the fridge utilized for teething gums. Maria was suffering. We gave in. Upon receiving backup binky she moaned with relief and delight, like an addict getting a fix. She was asleep within two minutes. Jeremy was relieved; he just didn’t feel comfortable forcing her to give it up if she wasn’t ready. “She’s only two,” he said. “I try to make them grow up in a lot of ways, but she’s only two and I don’t want to force her do this if she’s not ready. Her pallet is already screwed up and I don’t want her having some oral fixation when she’s in high school. They are only young once.”

He is right. Just because Grant was okay with giving up his pacifier, doesn’t mean Maria will do the same. She’s never been one to be forced to do anything. She does things on her own terms and timing. It’s one of the things I love about her…it’s also extremely frustrating at times.

Most children will voluntarily give up a binky between the ages of 2 and 4. I, too, struggled with giving up my fingers. Dad and I made a deal when I was five years old. He would quit smoking and I would quit sucking my fingers. He held up his end of the deal. I, however, would still sneak my fingers at night for years to come. I did eventually give them up. One night I said I was done and that was it.

For now, she has her binky back for naps and bedtime. Jeremy can rest easier without the worry of causing long-term psychological trauma over this issue. And I will enjoy the fact they are still young.

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