|Dad, comforting Dylan by napping in the room (and risking getting malaria). |
Dylan kicked Wilbur, the pig, out of his bed.
Dylan is a recovering binky-aholic. Here is his story.
About 100 days ago, on Christmas Eve, Dylan got into his pajamas and crawled under his covers. He had visions of sugar plums dancing in his head. He knew Santa would come if he fell asleep, so he kissed Mum and Dad good night, said ‘bonne nuit’ to Laird, and then…. for the last time in his life…. put his binky in his mouth.
What followed was a sound sleep, and a tearful 5 am start to Christmas Day, when he realised that Santa – that hulking, bearded man in the red suit – had taken away all of his binkies.
Every morning, around 5 am, Dylan often stirs as the Call to Prayer echoes throughout our neighborhood. On this particular Christmas morning, Dylan stirred and looked for his beloved binkie to lull him back to sleep. Mom and Dad were very strict about his beloved binkie; he was only allowed to use the pacifier at nap-time and bed-time in his bed.
'Biiiiiiiiiiinnnnkkkkiiiieeeeeee', we heard on the monitor. Mom ran in quickly and consoled him. Dylan was trying to be so brave and not cry as we reminded him of why Santa had taken his binkies.
The story we told was that Santa needed to redistribute the binkies to babies all around the world, and that, in exchange, he left behind a beautiful baby pig for Dylan to hug in his bed. (Laird, who had given up his binkies willingly a year-and-a-half earlier, got a fuzzy rabbit for supporting Dylan in this trying time.) We thought it was a lovely way to embrace the season of giving.
At 5 am, Mom and Dad consoled Dylan repeatedly. His lip quivered and his eyes were full of tears that he refused to let fall. He was trying to be strong but he was in such pain inside.
'Dylan', Mom whispered, 'it's okay to cry if you feel sad. Let it out my angel.' As soon as Mom said that, Dylan let the tears free. He sobbed for a good 15 minutes while laying on Mama's chest. Mom and Dad too, shed tears along with him, as we both second guessed our decision to take his binkies away.
Dylan loved his pig, but he had trouble grasping the fact that his binkies were gone forever. It seemed so final. He also loved Santa, but had trouble understanding why he would take all his binkies and make him feel bad.
“Santa gives us presents at Christmas when we are good, but he also teaches us how to give. Your binkies are making millions of babies happy, all around the world,” Mum and Dad reminded Dylan.
It all hit home again at nap time. Dylan crawled under his covers. He hugged his pig, but had no binky. His face was the picture of sadness, but he held it together. He looked at Dad and said, “I want to give back the pig to Santa and have my binkies,” his voice cracking, the corners of his mouth turning down. His chin quivered.
Dad felt like his heart was being crushed. “It will be okay, Dylan. Your pig will take care of you. Your binkies are gone, but they are making babies happy, all around the world.” Dylan rolled over and then quietly, unable to hold it back, started to cry.
This was the low point. Dad napped in the room on the floor with Laird and Dylan, which made Dylan feel a little bit better. He eventually fell asleep. Mum and Dad worried that night that they had made a mistake – that they had ruined Dylan’s image of Santa and scarred him for life. Maybe they should have waited another month. And what’s the big problem with binkies anyway, if they make your child happy?
But the next day, it was less painful, and by New Year's, just 6 days and nights later, Dylan had stopped asking about his binkies. He still loved Santa, and he loved his pig. And hopefully, he seemed to feel good that millions of babies were happy, all over the world. More and more, Dylan seems to enjoy giving things to people, like rocks, or tiny pieces of his food.
A few days ago, while hanging out on the beach, Dylan asked Mum “What’s that thing, Momma?” He was pointing at a binky, planted firmly in the mouth of a little girl.