Goodbye Gunkles!

gunkle – [gung-kuhl] noun.  A rubber or plastic device for a baby to suck or bite on.
Synonyms – pacifier, nuk, binky, plug
Origin – Jack called his nuks and when Casey was first trying to say that, it sounded a little like nunkles and somehow evolved into gunkles and that’s what stuck

It’s been two and a half years of the gunkles and it was time for them to go away.  I might have waited just a wee bit longer but somehow I lost my veto power this weekend and Operation: Goodbye Gunkles started on Sunday under the auspices of the other parenting unit.

She’s only used them at naptime, bedtime and sometimes on really long car rides for over a year now but I was trying to mentally prepare myself for some rough times as we said goodbye because she was quite devoted to them at bedtime.  She liked to have one in her mouth and one in each hand.

Casey had her first dentist appointment last week and the dentist said that the pacifiers weren’t helping her and to start cutting back.  I think we took Jack’s away when he was a little older and he seemed to understand a little better.  I don’t even think he mentioned them again after the first night.  I suspected it wouldn’t be so easy with Casey.

Pat decided yesterday (also his birthday) was the day to say goodbye.  We gave the gunkles to her baby cousin Charlotte who was visiting and she took them home.  (Or maybe I hid them under a towel in the laundry room.)  Either way, Casey screamed for 30 minutes at naptime and then finally drifted off for a very short nap.

I did not want to take the gunkles away yesterday.  I didn’t feel prepared.  For Jack I had a present that the Nuk Man left in the middle of the night for him.  I didn’t have anything for Casey and I wasn’t ready to hear her cry herself to sleep again.  She’s been such a good sleeper for so long that I didn’t want to mess that up.

While she cried herself to sleep, I sewed a little dress for one of the nakey babies in the hopes that she would be excited about a little present after her first nap without a gunkle.  She wasn’t very excited about the dress or about life without gunkles…mostly because her nap was way too short.  (I’m still impressed with the dress at least.)

She cried at bedtime.  I hissed things to Pat like, “You did this…you come up and make her stop crying!”   and “You aren’t going to be the one who has to deal with this in the middle of the night!”  She finally fell asleep after all the stuffed animals were removed from her bed at her request, songs were sung to her several times, blankets were arranged and rearranged and tissues were brought to her so she could blow her nose after the crying.  At 11pm she woke up again and wanted a tissues and her covers (blankets) fixed.  And then she slept until 7am.  Now normally she might sleep until eight, but seven was great.

Today, on day 2, she cried a little at nap and took only an hour nap but it was better than yesterday.  At bedtime she cried a little as well and we took all her blankies and animals out of her crib.  She wanted them completely removed from her room so they’re all sitting in the hallway.

So hopefully it continues to get better and she learns to put herself back to sleep without her beloved gunkles.

Now on to potty training or a big girl bed.  I’m not sure which one I want to do less.  Actually I wouldn’t mind the potty training if she actually had any interest in doing it.

Oh, and since the Gunkle Man wasn’t able to come in the middle of the night, he told me that I could take Casey to the store and let her choose a toy.  She chose a pink Leaptop computer.  There’s a feature on there for her to check her email and read blogs.  Seriously.  I’m not sure if she likes it more or Jack.  He wanted to know when we was going to get the email after he’d been listening to the computer read it to him.  We had a little discussion about the different between real mail and email.

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