I’m posting this blog a little late in the day as I stupidly spilled water on the keyboard of our laptop and killed the space bar and several of the letter keys. I wish I could say that it was Henry because then people would laugh and think it was cute. But no, nope a thirty two year old woman who was “French Canadianing” her arms around to a Bedknobs and Broomsticks song did it. Thank you Andy for toting this awesome Dell keyboard home to your wife so that the show could go on.
Boy, does it ever. Over the past few months, Andy and I have been watching our son and noticing something strange, something neither of us thought we would ever see… our son is no longer a baby. When in God’s great earth did this happen???? Everyone warns you that this is going to happen and that the time goes by fast, but THIS fast? Now that it’s January, I’ve even been saying to myself, ‘this is the last fall I have with Henry before he’ll be in pre-school’. PRE-SCHOOL!
So here we are with a slightly over two year old (I made a vow that I wouldn’t go by months after he turned two) and we are realizing that maybe certain things need to be “worked on” before Wren, our daughter, gets here. The first one being… losing the binky.
Ah, the binky, that little piece of security that helps all of us get through things. I find myself thinking all the time, it’s a long car ride, but we’ll bring his binky and it’ll go fine. I love you Binky. You and I have had some great times together. Remember the time you thought it would be funny to leap out of my son’s mouth at 2AM and go so far under the crib that even Inspector Gadget couldn’t get you out? Oh yeah, and then there was that time when Henry was an infant and you not only leapt out of my son’s mouth, but then made yourself completely invisible within the bassinet and I ended up grabbing every limb of my child, waking him up further, in order to find you? Ah, yes, it’s been fun.
But Binky I must say that you and I do have a stronger history than just that. I remember what I was like before you or my son came along. I had purchased every baby book known to man and had a library of them on my bedside table. I would feel Henry kick and turn the page on some chapter entitled, “How spoons and forks are making your child less creative.” I remember thinking that everything I read in those books was the equivalent to Moses etching the words to them on some tombstone shaped rocks, even though many of the books contradicted each other.
“This one says that pacifiers are bad for kids teeth and can delay speech development.” Okay, no pacifiers, got it. Thou shalt not give sucky devices to small children, thus saith the Lord. Thou shalt not allow your child to worship false nipples meant to falsely sooth them. Got it.
Then He came, the wonderful little soul that would make me forsake the baby book God. Everything was turned on it’s head. One night I had fed Henry and burped him, but he still was crying. Okay, go down the list. Diaper? Clean. Tummy? Full and gas free. No visible signs of pain. What is going on here? I’ll call my mom. I think the numbers in her number are worn off the keypad by this point.
“Have you tried a pacifier?” Who is this woman? The Devil? She’s sitting on my shoulder right now with cloven feet and horns offering up the poisonous pacifier as a solution! But the book said, WAILLLLLL, but the book said, WAAAAIIILLLLL! The book isn’t me. The book isn’t flesh and blood. The book isn’t this wailing child in my arms. The book has no instincts like I do right now.
I put the book down and got a pacifier. I gave it to him and the crying stopped. Had I signed a pack with the devil? Was my child not going to speak now or have million dollar orthodontist bills? I had no clue. But for the first time, I went with my instincts, who even knew that they were actually there!
We look at wolves and other wild animals that take care of their young without a second thought and think that it’s easy for them because they do it all with natural instincts. I thought for a long time that mine had been shoved down or completely erased by the internet, cars and modern life. But, nope they’re are actually still there, right on the surface, I, and all of us, just need to have the courage to listen to them.
Instincts can be used for anything. The obvious uses would be hauling your child out of the way of a speeding tanker truck (I learned about those from “My First Book of Trucks) and feeding them. But there are so many day to day things that crop up where you need to let your inner wolf shine. It could be anything from whether they watch TV or how much. It could be sleep training, discipline, or even if you ARE going to take that advice from your mother/father.
That baby book library, it’s still there. I use it nowadays as a group of ideas, not the end all. I found that I and my family are much happier with that balance.
And as for you Mr. Binky, we’ve had a wild ride you and I. I’d like to thank you for the service you have provided and yes, there will be a twenty one gun salute as we tuck you away for our daughter. But the time has come the mother with the pregnant belly as big as a walrus once said, to listen to your instincts and talk of other things.