But two always remained. An orange one and a blue one. And that's exactly how Brandon referred to them. He either wanted his orange binky or his blue binky, and the orange one was always his favorite. Orange was his first favorite color... before it changed to purple. (And now to blue - as of this morning - but that's another story).
Months and months ago, the binky was taken away from him at daycare except for during nap time. And after a while, Karen even stopped giving it to him at nap time, but allowed it to stay in his crib just in case he would reach for it on his own - but never offering it to him. And although he did really well phasing out of binky-use during the day, he became increasingly attached to it at home. It was sort of like his reward when Mommy or Daddy picked him up from daycare - though we never intended for it to be that way. He wanted his binky at night when he slept, in between meals, car rides - pretty much all the time.
He even broke a piece of the plastic off of his orange one a few months ago when dancing at a wedding and falling hard on the dance floor. It didn't matter. He still loved that orange binky.
We made Jaden give his up at our first thought of trying to conceive Brandon - when Jaden wasn't quite a year and a half old. And though we had about three tough days with Jaden, that's all it took, and he was over it. I never intended to allow Brandon to use his this long, but as time went on, the thought of taking it away became more and more dreadful. And to be completely honest... I was not ready to let go of my baby yet. He reached so many milestones quicker than Jaden did - he crawled earlier - he walked earlier - he fed himself with a spoon earlier - he phased out of babyfood sooner - he started wearing pullups and potty training earlier - I wanted one piece of him to still be my baby. I really was planning on making a strong effort at getting rid of the binky over our extended Christmas vacation from work, but Fate stepped in and made it much easier for this mama.
During Thanksgiving weekend, when I was out doing some shopping and Cody was home with the boys, the orange binky went missing. We looked EVERYWHERE for that thing and came up empty. It wasn't that traumatic because we still had the blue one, but we were one step closer. The very next day we went out to eat for lunch, and I accidentally left the blue binky on the table when we left. I realized my mistake after we had already returned home, and battled with myself over going back to claim it (it was right before nap time), or letting that be the push we needed to make Brandon give it up for good. I should mention that Cody also was gone this day - the decision was all mine - and the fallout from that decision during nap time would also be all mine to handle. :) Clear heads prevailed, and I decided not to go back and get it. Though there were a few tears at nap time, Brandon went to sleep without it that afternoon, and I was so proud of him. But I knew the real test would come at night.
To our astonishment, he went to sleep that night with only a slight mention of his binky, and he has been binky-free ever since! He only mentioned it the first two days, and we kept telling him that the garbage man took it away because he absolutely loves the garbage man and the garbage truck.
There was a slight hiccup when after a week had gone by, his orange binky showed up in the mouth of one of his animal toys in our basement toy box. He grabbed the toy and said, "My binky!" I immediately grabbed it out of his hand and threw it away. He collapsed into a fit on the floor that lasted about one minute, and then he just got mad at me and scowled at me for a few minutes - without any tears. That was it. As quickly as he'd re-discovered it, he forgot about it again.
We are so proud of him and so grateful that it wasn't the traumatic experience we were preparing ourselves for! We are now a binky-free household for the first time in almost five years. Now if we could just get this potty training thing under control...