First, thanks to everyone who encouraged me last week! I truly appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers. Being a mama has its hard days, for sure. Thankfully, the sun came out the next day and we did go have a refreshing visit with my friend and her twins.
This week might be touch-and-go as far as posts are concerned; I've spent the last week in Southern Oregon visiting my parents, and when I'm down here, I shut my brain down a little and enjoy being cooked for AND watching cable TV. I also left my MacBook cord back in Portland, so I've been typing posts and tweets out on my parents' iPad. It takes a little longer than usual.
But before the trek down, we were doing the dreaded binky weaning.
I asked around and read forums to find out when and how to phase out the pacifiers, and opinions were varied (like all things parenting-related), but the general consensus seemed to be that after six months, pacifier use becomes more of a habit. We're at nearly eight. I am not at all anti-binky - I had mine until I was two years old. I probably would have left it alone if I had just one baby, but with two, it seemed like I never got a break.
All night long we would be on binky patrol, and after a long day, this mama needed some down time and the daddy needed his study time. It was making for some frustrating evenings, and I was beginning to realize that we were modeling the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. I was irritated, but it was my own fault.
The first thing we tried was to poke holes in the tip of the pacifier to make it less "squishy". We left it like this for two days, and on the third day, I snipped off the very tip with the goal of subtly taking off a little more each day until they rejected them without our influence. Unfortunately, I snipped off way too much, and the binks were unusable. Scratch that plan! I've heard it works when you do it right, especially with older kids.
It was both humorous and pathetic to watch the girls try to keep the snipped stubs in their mouths; they sucked twice and then the stubs came tumbling out, making for some frustrated little ladies. We tossed the binkies and wondered what to do next. I remembered that I had a pair of pacifiers from their baby shower that were a different shape and size than they were used to, so I had never used them. The girls didn't like them very much, but it was early in the week, and we were biding time until the weekend so we could go cold-turkey as a team. From what I had been told, we could reasonably expect a three-day transition time.
Friday night was the big night. I stayed with Ruthie in our room and Andy took Afton into the guest room. We didn't want to leave them alone, so we laid near them and quietly shushed, periodically whispering our empathy while patting and rubbing their tummies. Afton only cried for about 20 minutes, with poor Ruthie having the tougher time. She cried and fussed on and off for about an hour.
The next night was similar to the first, and by the third night, they slept for three solid hours. This was a huge accomplishment, especially for the early evening hours, when we had previously been going in every 10 to 20 minutes! Praaaise!
We are still binky free at night, even though I've been tempted to make things easier on myself while on my "holiday". I've so far resisted the temptation, and the girls have risen to the challenge, even with some hiccups due to the change in environment. But it's nothing like it was before.
They still have binkies during nap time, because it's usually just me during the day and I'm OK with it at this point.
Next up? When we get back home, we'll be transitioning them into their crib(s). I know they are ready, especially Ruthie, but my mama heart is still a little sad about it! Tell me it's going to be all right!