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Everything I Don’t Know About Parenting- Part 2

“Binkies, Thumb Sucking, and Baby Wearing”

Babies are born with the desire to suck and the desire to feel safe, so we nurse them and swaddle them and hold them close. Sometimes that’s not enough. And since no one has the time to walk around with a baby latched on to the boob 24/7 , we plop a binkie in it and take a deep sigh.

Nick took a binkie from the word go. Of course the hospital started it and gave him a “Mam”. I’m guess the makers of “Mam” binkies deliver a free truckload to the hospital each month to help insure your beautiful baby becomes quickly addicted to their product and their product alone. I am certain that in the first 3 years of Nick’s life, we paid for the CEO’s annual cruise to the Bahamas.

Those of you who also raised Binkie addicts can attest to the countless times you tore the whole blasted house apart looking for just ONE of the ten thousand binkies you know your child possesses, only to resort to a midnight run to the drug store to dish out another $6.35 for a two pack and a good night’s sleep.

But wait, sleep? Who’s sleeping? Oh no, not me, I’m the middle of the night Binkie Fairy, who jolts out of bed to hear the panic stricken cry of that child who lost said Binkie.

After nearly three years of insanity, our child now was only content with one in the mouth and one in each hand.

I am such a good mom.

So I did what all good Mom’s do, and I explained to Nick that now that he is a big brother, he can no longer have a Binkie. We collected all the Binkies in sight, put them in a little box, and held a Binkie funeral, burying them in the flower bed. The drama was awesome.

Taylor had a Binkie too. This time we helped pay for the maker of “Nuk’s” BMW. A “Nuk” has that cute little flappy thing that you can connect to a clippy and attach to your child’s clothing. We would always lose the clippy and therefore lose the Binkie and well, you know the rest of the story.

Taylor insisted on having the little flappy thing tucked under his nose. To this day, I don’t understand that little fixation.

Isabelle, little miss independent, refused to need such a thing as a Binkie. She did however demand to be swaddled and bounced every night from 5-8PM without fail.

Elia was handed a Binkie at birth and Emma at age 2 1/2 left the orphanage with the nastiest Binkie I have ever seen in my life in hand. Elia and Emma went on to become the Binkie Queens of the house, and when I had finally had enough, I banned them forever and the girls broke the habit cold turkey.

What I do know about breaking the binky habit is that the only way out is to go cold turkey and deal with the withdrawal symptoms for a few days. Our home became a rehab unit for Binkie addicts, but we survived.

And what about the token thumb sucker. That would be Aiden. He is a first for me and since I can’t take his thumb away, I am just hoping that one day he stops. That’s my brilliant plan. See, I’m so good At this Mom thing!

So what about swaddling and baby wearing?

Swaddling works because what baby loves the fact that they just had to leave the safe, warm, dark of the womb to enter a loud, bright, scary world with arms and legs flailing out of control? So we swaddle them up and hold them close, right next to the familiar sound of our heart beat.

Now I suppose “baby wearing” is an ancient practice, but it was not nearly as common my first time around as a mom as it was my second time around. When we were preparing to adopt our son Aiden from Ukraine, I bought a beautiful sling, thinking of how wonderful it would be for bonding and how practical it would be for travel home. He was 3, but I expected he would be small for his age because of his delayed development.

Several things went wrong with this plan, first he was much bigger and heavier than I thought he would be. Secondly, we decided to adopt two children, and I know you all think I’m Super Mom, but there was no way I was strapping two grown children to my body.

I carried Aiden in a sling along with a backpack and diaper bag for 30 hellish minutes in the Atlanta airport while we tried to get through customs, retrieve our 2 enormous suit cases and our stroller. Emma screamed because she wasn’t being carried too. When we got home and I tried to take turns wearing the kids, it just turned into a nightmare of children crying for their turn, so I quickly hid the sling away in my closet hoping for “next time” to be the dreamy, sweet baby wearing experience.

I pulled out my beautiful sling 2 years later as we prepared for the birth of our son Matthias. And wouldn’t you know it, my sweet child spent the first 11 months of his life in the hospital, hooked up to so many tubes and machines that it made baby wearing a joke. I tried once and I looked like a momma out of some science fiction movie. And let’s face it, I could wear him, but I still couldn’t walk more than a foot in either direction because of all the tubes.

I refuse to get rid of my dream sling. It hangs in my closet and maybe one day, I’ll get to wear a baby, even if it is a grand baby!

So to all you sling wearing momma, kuddos to you. I for one know nothing about wearing a baby!

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6 thoughts on “Everything I Don’t Know About Parenting- Part 2

  1. First time reader here…My daughter was 4 months old when she came to me. When she fussed, I offered her a binky. I had no idea if she used one or not. She looked at me almost in disgust, as if to say, “get that thing away from me!”. She did however, love to be held… a lot…! The Baby Bjorn was definitely my friend…:)

  2. Wow…, you are hilariously funny! Thanks for giving me laughs this morning. I can so relate with all 4 of my little peeps loving the nuks and gross nasty blankies that need to be drug all over the ground and carted with us EVERYWHERE we go. (:

  3. you are a such a GIFTED author, Tracie!!! So real, so authentic….I can so so relate with all what you write…Please, publish a book about Parenting, I promise you, it will be a bestseller in no time, because most parents have enough of all the theoretic advises, that simply does not work in real life!

  4. Never had the sling for my other babes….didn’t know about it. Jonathan- well he needed to exercise so he was in the sling when we were in public and that was it…a few times. Joanna- LIVED in the sling for the first several months. She LOVED IT!!!! She was also the first of our children to be swaddled and LOVED that too. Of course she is also our only child to scream bloody murder when we put her to bed now at the age of 2! Sooo…..yea. Fun times. Michael of course needs to be out and about crawling and working his muscles….so no sling there either for the most part.

    Binkies- only a few of our kiddos even wanted them. We yanked them at age 1 and dealt. Michael is a thumb sucker too! But he is a cute thumb sucker!!!

    I think it is funny because all kids are just soooo different! Totally makes me laugh when we think we have it figured out!

  5. You will get your time and the world is always full of babies waiting for your sling, in your profession I think you will find reasons for lots of sling time. Slings rock, native way or whichever mine was called that is a cloth folded in half became part of my wardrobe for 18 months twice. But no pacifiers here unless you count me as one which considering we were not great with bottles & one was not good with anything but mom for liquid until 19 months, yeah, I was patient enough and blessed enough to be the binky with three healthy kids & no time in nicu. Beautiful story and I can’t wait for your FIRST
    book.

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