WE ARE BINKY AND SWADDLER FREE!!!
It's a wee bit later than the four months I predicted but at this juncture I think we should just be positive and commence the accolades, k?
How did we do the binky part? Easy. We (drumroll please....) stopped. giving it. to her. Very simple. I was shaving whole years off my life from all the re-plugging I was doing after these dropped binkies. I finally just gave up and said "it's either me or the binky" and so naturally Stephen chose me because who would match the socks and make his lunch if I weren't around. He's not an idiot...
I stopped giving it to her. I started doing some patting and singing when I laid her down. I also started putting her fist in her mouth when she started squawking. She never really took to the pacifier too well anyway and by this time she was mainly chewing on it during the day (and not sucking on it to comfort to sleep) so I thought if I am working this hard and it's not even helping you fall and/or stay asleep? Pfffft. Kiss that sucker good bye.
The swaddler was also actually pretty easy to break. After a few nights of E wiggling under the velcro tab in the middle (and lifting the whole top up enough to suck her fingers) and then screaming bloody murder to be tucked in again, I said "yeah... no....".
Usually I wait for things to happen in threes before I act. The first could be a fluke and the second is more than likely not a fluke but hey, the third time is for shizzle the real thing. Not this time though. Two strikes and I was convinced.
The first night she got out of the swaddle, I thought maybe we had put it on too loose and she just shimmied out the middle. The second night, at 3 am, when she uttered forth a shriek so blood curdling that I thought for sure there would be blood and/or wild rabid animals in the room, I bolted from my bed, picked up my stomach where it had dropped to the floor, and ran into her room. She looked up at me from the halo glow of her moon and stars lights and gave me this sleepy pleading look: "Oh hai, can you plz tuck meh in again, I wiggled out of mah snugglies :)"
Oh... my... God... Are you shitting me?!? I thought you were dying!
No more Kiddapotumus. No more swaddling. Done. Gone. Finito...
It's been surprisingly smooth. There was some confusion in the beginning, which was to be expected. The first few times I put her down and she blinked open her eyes at the last possible cognizant moment, she realized some shit is not right here. Her eyes went full open and she started flapping her hands all around. "My arms! My arms! I can feel my arms!!!" To which I had to remind her that it was both ok and in some respects, lucky to have arms she could feel and move around. Like, hello, YOUR WELCOME for not tying you up straight-jacket style and leaving you immobile!
E also truly hates tummy time. Not like you or I hate liver and onions or waiting in line at the DMV. She hates it like we hate growing old or social injustice. She must be bribed with constant attention and vicious arm gestures so as not to scream. One might think that being put in this position at night with a full milk belly and two or three pictures books behind her might make for a chaotic night but amazingly, it does not. She sleeps rather well and can suck her hands at will (which is also somewhat of a negative since she gums on them all night and they get all gooey and freezing cold by morning). But hey, everyone wins.
Except for a few nights (four to be exact) where she rolled over onto her back and assumed the stranded screaming cockroach position. Rolling over onto her back is apparently equivalent to squirming out of the Kiddopotumus because they both elicit the same mind melting screams and cause me to age at an unholy rate. I almost went back to the swaddler because I wasn't discontinuing it for being a detrimental thing or even past it's season. I just want more sleep. There is nothing inherently wrong with keeping a kid bound for as long as they feel comforted by it (some cultures do it for upwards of a year and those babies develop just as others do) but the screaming will kill us all.
I'm willing to do what it takes to keep the memory-erasing, sanity-sucking noises to a minimum. For those four days, I thought I would go insane. But I stuck with it and got up the 19837548 times a night she would flip over, until she (a) stopped doing it or (b) stopped caring. She's doing a little of both right now.
The first time I caught her rolling over from back to belly. If only I could get her to do this at night.
Except this one time, she had fallen asleep upstairs after rolling over for the dozenth time (and it wasn't even 10pm yet!) and the baby monitor started vibrating under the harmonics of her belting one out. I was trekking up the stairs to her room and I was. soooo. angry. I could have chewed glass and I was almost in tears because I'm only human. Have mercy on my soul. I had to wipe my eyes before I opened her door and gather my composure so I could make sure my mommy whispers were lovely and not full of displeasure. When I peeked in, of course, she had rolled over onto her back and she was REALLY pissed off. When I got to her crib, I noticed her arm was stuck THROUGH THE SLATS and out past her elbow.
People.... my heart..... it imploded under the weight of my guilt and all the cracked little pieces were chanting "I told you so" from the hardwood floor. It was horrific. I scooped her up and told her I was sorry and promised her I would buy her a car for her 16th birthday. Not a new Civic or a pimped out SUV but maybe a really really really good used Sunfire or something. And here's another $100 to put into your therapy fund.
The moral of the story, I guess, is that babies haven't read "The Baby that Cried Wolf" or whatever and you have to treat all those screams with the same hop-to and concern every single time because you never know. Maybe they got their appendage stuck out the slats of the baby bed or barfed up snot milk all over themselves or SHIT EVERYWHERE and truly need assistance. 99.99999% of the time, they won't, but that ONE TIME they sincerely need you and you toss their concerns to the side you will regret it. Read my lips: You. Will. Feel. Like. A sack of shit. And you'll never get over the guilt.
And the next thing you know, you're buying them a brand new pimped out Civic because "remember that one time when I almost died and you told me to shut up and deal with it. Yeah, I remember that shit..."