Both of my boys were pacifier boys.
Well, Keegan was really a thumb sucker that we tortured with a pacifier until finally he gave up the thumb. Kinda like people trying to make their left-handed kids right-handed? Maybe… Hell, the kid’s gotta have SOMETHING to talk to a therapist about when he’s older, right??
We made it a rule at our house that the binky was gone at 18 months, or there abouts. Eli got to have it a little longer because Keegan was born when Eli turned 18 months. Keegan got to have it a little longer because we took a 12 hour trip to Iowa when he turned 18 months. A mommy has to have a little sanity!
Anyway, both boys were very attached to their binkys. They went everywhere with us. Neither of them had a favorite blankie or a favorite stuffed toy. Nope, it was the binky and the binky alone.
When Eli’s binky “broke” and he finally gave up on the idea that it was never going to get fixed, he latched on to two teddy bears that were given to him the day he was born. Blue Bear and Brown Bear (his names, not mine) started going everywhere with us. They rode next to him on long trips and snuggled with him every night in his bed. As the years have gone by Blue Bear remains as the favorite bedtime lovey. He no longer has to go everywhere but he does sleep with Eli every night and he looks for him when he’s not feeling well.
When it was time for Keegan’s binky to wind up mysteriously broken too, we naturally thought that he would attach to some sort of lovey to take to bed. Remember that he fought the binky in the first place. It took him more than 2 weeks to get over it – Eli only took 2 days. It only made sense then that the kid was having NO part of any blankie or stuffed toy. Sure, he let us put them in his crib with him. We tried taking a couple on road trips with us. He was having no part in it.
We gave up on the idea figuring that maybe he just wasn’t the lovey kind of kid. He was over not having the binky and was back to sleeping fairly well through the night again.
Last year he got to go to Toys R Us to get a little something. He had a dollar amount he could not exceed and was reminded constantly of the cost of items that he thought he NEEDED. In the end he chose to purchase a little black and white stuffed kitty that he named Kitty. Do I have the most creative kids or what!
We got a little excited. Finally he had a little something that he wanted to sleep with at night. A little something that he wanted near to make him feel better when he was tired or sick. Still, the attachment wasn’t as strong as I’ve seen in some kids. I wasn’t going to force him to love a toy but I must admit I was a little sad to see Kitty join the other forgotten stuffed animals at the end of his bed.
This Christmas the boys were big enough to pick out gifts for each other. We took them shopping separately. I got to shop with Eli on Thanksgiving morning. He wanted to go down the Star Wars aisle to see if there was something there that Keegan might like. When we rounded the corner he saw this toy:
So we bought it. He helped me wrap it and put it under the tree. Christmas morning Keegan opened the gift and HIS eyes lit up. He was so excited. He even shared a Christmas hug with his brother.
And now? Well now Jengo Fett goes with us on road trips and occupies the seat next to Keegan. Keegan sleeps with him every night. He snuggles with him during popcorn and movie night. He has bonded.
When we returned from Indianapolis there was a pile of laundry to do. The downfall of traveling, I know. I decided to wash Blue Bear and Jengo Fett because both boys had colds and had smothered them a little with snot during the night. Unfortunately I, in my tired travel state, neglected to put them into the first load of laundry. This meant that they wouldn’t be washed and dried by bedtime. For Eli this was no new event. I was able to tell him that I’d bring Blue Bear up to bed as soon as he was dry. For Keegan this was close to the end of the world.
I tucked Keegan into bed and promised him that I would bring Jengo Fett up just as soon as he was dry. He was upset but agreed. After I left his room and came downstairs I heard the pitter patter of little feet moving across his bedroom floor. Soon there was a tiny blonde head peeking around the corner of the stairs asking if the dryer was done yet. I told him no, reminded him I’d be bringing Jengo Fett up just as soon as the dryer was done and sent him off to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat about 8 more times every 5-7 minutes.
Finally I heard the chime echo from the laundry room about the same time as I hear the little feet for trip #9 down the stairs. As he reached the bottom of the stairs I handed him Jengo Fett. He brought him close to his chest and smiled because Jengo Fett was nice and warm. I hugged and kissed him and sent him to bed, again.
I didn’t hear from him again. I went upstairs about 10 minutes later to go to bed myself. I went in his room to make sure that he was covered well. He was sound asleep with Jengo Fett in his arms.
I’m interested to see how long this phase lasts for him. He’s never been this attached to anything except his binky. But, then, he’s never gotten a sweet gift like this from his brother before.