Could It Really Be...

...This easy?!

I'd like to introduce you to Bo.
Bo is Zach's bear blanket. Aptly named because Zach wasn't able to say "bear", so he said "bo". 

Bo is my fault.

This picture reflects the very first time I put Bo in Zach's arms. I thought it was so adorable! I hoped that Bo would be something Zach would sleep with each night.

I got my wish, but with a twist:

Zach didn't want to hold Bo as he drifted off to dreamland. He found Bo to be very tasty. So my child got into the habit of cramming part of Bo into his mouth, and sucking on the delicious fabric as he went to sleep.

Strange? Yes.
I had visions of the headline "local infant dies from inhaling bear blanket - mom says reason for giving him bear was "it was cute".
Seriously. It looked like it could be a problem:

But, it never seemed to be a problem for him, and it became normal. (The "Bo" in the above picture is a backup - he didn't like it as much as the brown one, but it would work if the real Bo wasn't available).

Anyway, fast forward a little bit, and the cuteness factor of Bo has worn off. Since Zach puts Bo in his mouth, Bo gets damp. Then Bo starts to smell sour, and Bo gets washed. A lot. We also weren't sure if it was good for damp fabric to be in his mouth for extended periods of time.

But there was no way Zach would part with Bo.

Last fall, we took a road trip to Mississippi. Somehow, when we stopped at a gas station, Bo fell out of the car, and was left behind. 
In Alabama. 
Which we didn't realize until we were 2 hours down the road.  
Zach was not happy. 
While I thought I would be happy, since it was the perfect opportunity to end the Bo habit, I was near tears.

Somehow, Bo was suddenly human. I pictured him lying on the ground at a cold gas station...loved by a little boy, but now all alone. Images from my childhood copy of The Velveteen Rabbit flashed through my mind. We had to get Bo home!

Amazingly, after calling the station from the info on our receipt, the manager found Bo, and we were able to get him back. The family was back intact, and order was restored in Zach's life. 

We knew that we needed to break Zach's habit though. When we tried to get Zach to go to sleep without Bo, there was a lot of crying, and it would take hours for Zach to fall asleep. So last week, I decided that I would start telling Zach that he needed to take his afternoon nap without Bo. I was hoping that if he could learn to sleep without him at naptime, we could eventually get him to go to bed at night without him. Well, it didn't go well - Zach just didn't take his nap. He spent the 2 hours playing in his room. Then he was cranky by dinner time, and all was not well. But we were determined to keep it up and give it a chance. Four nights ago, Zach got into bed, and I gave him Bo. Zach was extremely happy, since he doesn't get him at naptime anymore. I told Zach that since he was 3 years old now, he doesn't need to put Bo in his mouth anymore. I told him that big boys don't do that - only babies. I've told him that in the past, but he wouldn't have it. This time though, he just smiled and said "Ok Mommy." I'd be lying if I said that I believed him. My actual thought was "that little sucker is just telling me what I want to hear - like the 'smile and nod' thing!" So I turned out the light and told him goodnight. 
I looked into his room a few minutes later - no Bo in his mouth. Ha. He's good - he knew I was going to come in. 
I waited a little longer and stuck my head in - still no Bo in his mouth. Hope began to spring up in my soul.
It's been 4 days, and I have yet to catch Zach with Bo in his mouth. Either he's extremely good at pulling the wool over my eyes, or he just quit cold turkey! The longer this goes on, the more I think it's the latter. 

So dare I say that it was that easy?! Time will tell. But I'm happy Bo gets to stay in Zach's arms...just not in his mouth! :)


Matt, Kelly, Eli, and Ethan said...

I sometimes wonder who is more attached to the security items, the kid or the parents! All my boys have blankies and they all insist on sleeping with them over their heads (don't worry, they are crochet blankets that allow for circulation!) And Eli was so attached to his pacifier at Zach's age. He called it his "baby", he particularly loved "yellow baby" We did the same thing trying to wean him at nap time, etc. Then one day he was sitting on the potty and it fell in after he peed. I told him it was yucky from being in the potty and that was the end of it! No arguments or anything. So, now I know...if I ever need to wean another kid off of the pacifier, it's going in the toilet!