"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Monday, February 18, 2013

an unexpected milestone

Yesterday, Sam walked into the kitchen, where I was getting lunch together, and dropped a bombshell on me.

"So, Max just told me that tomorrow he's going to package up his binkies and mail them to the new babies in the hospital."

I looked at him, surprised, to say the least. No. I was shocked.

Not because of where he wanted to send his binkies to....we had used the same method to encourage Evan to get rid of his binkies when he was we were ready to say good-bye. We had told Max this story many times: "Someday, when you're ready, you'll mail your binkies to the hospital where babies are born. Think of those sweet, tiny babies who will be so happy to have binkies to help them sleep on their very first night." He never participated in the conversations...and we had stopped talking about it. We are, after all, conquering a much larger beast at the moment.

We were shocked by the fact that Max was Ready. And of his own volition. We knew we should probably capitalize on the occasion.

This morning, while sitting at breakfast, Sam broached the topic:
"So, Max....is today the day that you're going to package up your binkies and mail them to the new babies?"


"Um....Yes?! Yes, I AM. I....AM....ready. To. Send. mybinkiestothenewbabies."

"That's great, buddy!" I said, "Just bring them to me whenever you're ready and I'll help you."

And then we dropped it. We didn't want to force his hand. It wasn't, after all, our decision. If he wanted to reconsider, we'd have been okay with it.

"Um, Mommy?" he started, a few moments later, "Why are your eyes watery? Is it because they're full of happy tears?"

"My eyes aren't watery, Max. Are yours?"

"Um. Yes. Because they're full of HAPPY TEARS. Because I'm SUCH A BIG BOY to give my binkies to the new babies!"

"Max....." I started....

"Mommy?" he interrupted. "Can you come give me a really big hug?"

Oh, my brave little love. I hugged him tight and didn't mention binkies again.

After breakfast, he gathered all three binkies from his bed. I got an envelope. We addressed it together.

And Sam took it and "mailed" it at the trashcan-looking "post office" at work.  There are going to be some happy, pacified little babies at bedtime in the hospital tonight!

Lesson Learned:
Wouldn't you know....if you wait long enough, they really do just grow up all on their own. But, man, did I miss naptime today. Instead of cuddling up with his binky and buddies and sleeping soundly for his standard hour-and-a-half long nap, he sat on his bed yelling down to me that he wasn't tired and was all done sleeping and wasn't going to take a nappy today at all ever again.

Hooooooo, boy.

Our scheduled date to get hot chocolate with a buddy at the neighborhood coffee shop was going to be Fun. And, hoo boy did he deliver. Had I not been trying to maintain composure in front of my friend, I may have just left him with the baristas. Somehow, though, I managed to capture a moment that I think I'll replace my real memory of the afternoon with....

And the best news is:
He fell asleep soundly, before 7 pm, without a binky and without tears. Sweet, big boy.