Who Put the Bop in the Bop Shoo Bop Shoo Trash?

Even with all of our plans before the births of our children – (attachment parenting, on-demand breast-feeding, baby wearing, etc) they both became “Bop Babies”. For all those of you unfamiliar with Motherfog lingo, “Bops” are pacifiers. We don’t know where this name came from, but it’s become such a household name, that we are always confused when people have no idea what we’re talking about.

While we did follow through with all of the aforementioned parenting techniques, bops were thrown into the night-time mix to help pacify in between every two and three-hour breast-feedings.

But, when Zachary was around six months old, we made a steadfast rule that no bops would be allowed outside of the crib (or car if napping). This rule followed suit with baby number two and has been high on the short list of “brilliant parenting decisions” made by the Motherfog child-raisers. We have often praised ourselves for this family law, as so many benefits came from it. Not only were we free from chasing after pacifiers all around town, and being stuck with photos full of plastic-faced cherubs, but its practice encouraged a desire for “crib quiet time”. Both kids welcomed a couple of ten or twenty-minute stretches of daytime solitude in their own beds to steal some precious moments with their bops and a book or two.

However, we recently realized a fatal flaw in our plan. When the pacifier is only allowed in the privacy of the child’s bed, the courage and ambition to go through the agony of taking it away slowly wanes. It sort of becomes a little secret, free from judgmental glances from public onlookers. Unless you find yourself entertaining a playdate in your son’s room and the pacifier is spotted. In which case I have not been above quickly covering up with,

“Isabelle! What are your bops doing in Zachary’s room? Silly girl!”

But, before you know it, you’re looking at your three-year old, all dressed for bed, and he suddenly looks like a college kid dressed up for Halloween in a “Baby” costume with a pacifier hanging out of his mouth.

I happened to google the issue this morning, and was stung by the harsh critics on the web – critics, of course, being other mothers who I am certain are the images of maternal perfection themselves – once you agree to look past the glaring grammatical and spelling errors in their scathing comments.

But, lets move past my hurt feelings from judgments of those whom I have never met. Of course, they only ruffled me because it’s true. I am absolutely certain that Zachary is the only kid in his class that still uses a pacifier at night, but the decision to take it away has never aligned with what feels like the right time and place.

When he turned one, I was five months pregnant, alone with him in Utah, working long hours, and attempting to star in a show. Not the best time…for me.

At 16 months, we brought a new baby sister home. Certainly not the best time.

At two, we were about to move across the country. Definitely not.

Last summer, just before he turned three, we planned to tackle the issue.

He broke his femur.

Need I say more?

So, while at the moment, we seem to be finding ourselves in some modicum of status quo (pardon me while I go ram my head into a two-by-four), it’s time to Seize the Day.

But, if we’re going to do this, why not go hog-wild and make it a bat-shit, bop-breaking bash, and take it from the 22 month old too?

This morning went like this:

Me “Hey, honey? How would you feel about getting no sleep for the next week?”

Husband “Why?”

Me “I think it’s time to ditch the bops”

Husband “Um. OK”

Three minutes later…

“Hey guys! Daddy and I have talked for a long time about this. We’ve decided it’s time to say good-bye to the Bops. You are big enough to sleep without them now and they are going away. It will be hard for a few days and we are here to give lots of hugs and snuggles, but we know you can do it!”

Let the Games Begin!

Blogger’s Note:

A friend has a story she likes to tell about her first encounter with me. Apparently, I was amusing a group of people at a party with a story, got carried away with my own exaggerations, and cut myself off with,

“That’s not true!”

She has never forgotten it. It is true. I do exaggerate. It’s a family trait. But, as I have stated before on this blog, I will always fess up, and usually within the same conversation (or post). So, I’ve decided to add a “FACT CHECK” at the end of posts.


1.)The bops are not in the trash. That would be mean and heart-breaking. For me more than them, I think. They are in a drawer and will perhaps be bronzed like a pair of first baby shoes

2.)That was an exaggeration I will most likely not have them bronzed. That would be very strange, even for me.

Have a click!

19 responses to “Who Put the Bop in the Bop Shoo Bop Shoo Trash?

  1. Hope you enjoyed Isabelle’s naps while they lasted! 🙂

    • Well, yes. That is a huge fear. But, my thinking is that she is still young enough that not napping is NOT an option. There is no question that she needs it. So, if we can do it now, she will find another way of soothing? I sure hope so. If not, the bops are going back in her bed and I will gladly assist her in bedazzling one for her wedding day.

  2. Wait – yes – naps today? Please update!

  3. Both mine were also attached to “binkys”. We packed them up (around the age of 3) and sent them to the little babies that needed them now that they were big boys… It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was harder for me, as suddenly I didn’t have anything to give them when they were tired, cranky, crying… It had been my crutch as well. But… I (they) survived quickly and so will your sweet little ones 🙂 good luck!

    • I love that. We thought of coming up with a story like that, but when we have tried things of that nature before with other situations, it hasn’t really worked with Zachary. He likes to “problem solve”. I fear he would choose to buy the babies new bops rather than give up his own. sigh. And you are correct. It does become a crutch for the parent for sure.

  4. haha Em! I think you should solder the Bops and make them into jewelry!!!! 🙂

  5. My first never used a pacifier and I assumed it was due to my top notch parenting. Then it turned out to be the only thing that comforted my second one (at which point I realized my first just didn’t like it) so #2 has been an avid bedtime user and I have no idea how I’ll take it away when the day comes. Good luck – share any success tips!

    • I always assume the good things are due to my top-notch parenting. And the bad things occur because I have no business being a parent. sigh. double edges sword, this mommy thing. I will share soon. Too soon to give results, but worry not 😉

  6. oh em…awaiting to hear how it went..I have a horror story! Carter my oldest, was the only to want a pacifier, bottle or anything other than mommy..lol…he was 3 years and almost 4 months when it just dissappeared..I mean, it did just that with no help from my husband or I. I think preston threwit out because it wawsno where to be found, carter didn’t seem to phased in the am when we realize we couldn’t’ find it, but little did we know all hell was going to break loose. I was pregnant with number 3, and thankful to have plans that night because I would have been making a trip to target. My husband said it was hell. he didnt’ knwo how to sooth himselfe:(…..it wasn’t a short stint either, he gave up naps, slowly, he did still rest for awhile but came to the realizzation that without the binky..as wel called it, he just didn’t want to be in his bed. bed time routine was all ou tthe window and we were catapaulted into horrible 3’s that may have been soothed with that damn pacifier…plastic and rubber who would have thought! It took months, and he did still talk about the binky for a long time, but I promise you the hell didn’t last forever. sleep was rough for a while, we started habits that just ended before his 6th birthday, but he is fine, he sleeps good now….I am thankful the other two didn’t want the binky! Not sure what number 4 will want! I think getting rid of it the youngest one while doing zachary is a great idea, wish I had done it sooner……
    We do what we feel will get us through sometimes, dont let other moms think that you are less than them ever……some may judge, I try not to, because you just never know the cirucmstances……parenting doesn’t have a manual..its all about what works best for you! good luck sweets. 🙂

    • Oh my goodness, Erica. That is insane. I am so sorry. Poor baby. Poor mommy and Daddy! And pregnant with number three! I will share the results of our few days soon! Thanks for sharing. And yes. Never good to judge. I certainly have no business judging anyone!

    • Oh my goodness, Erica. That is insane. I am so sorry. Poor baby. Poor mommy and Daddy! And pregnant with number three! I will share the results of our few days soon! Thanks for sharing. And yes. Never good to judge. I certainly have no business judging anyone!

  7. I hope the bop banishment is going well. It is interesting how some children self wean from certain behaviors and routines and others need us to instigate the process. I think it was a wise idea to break both of them at the same time even if Isabelle might struggle a bit more with it at first. Perhaps a new special cuddle buddy would help if they are having trouble adjusting to the new normal. My sister’s oldest had his binky until he was 3 or so. He is 15 now and experienced no detrimental side effects from it. 😉

    • I will share more soon, but Isabelle has already become very attached to a glow worm baby. It’s fascinating to watch kids adapt. Don’t want to ruin the “results” post, but I’ll give a hint… one kid has had no issue whatsoever. The other, different story. more later!

  8. Had to comment: We had the same rule– only in bed and we were so proud of ourselves! …

    We have 3 – two loved their pacifiers and one was a thumb sucker. We had the pacifier fairy come and take them away to other babies and leave a toy/lovie in its place at age 3.

    Baby 1 – no problem.. he did not seem to really mind at all.

    Baby 2 – Gave the pacifier up, liked the new toy but within a month watched our infant suck his thumb and then took up that habit all on her own at age 3!

    Of course Baby 3 just had his thumb. He is now 8 and has only recently given it up.

    Baby 2 (the retro- learned thumb sucker) only did it at night… but did not give it up completely until she had braces at 9! ugh.

    Each kid is so different. The good news is no harm done, except for an expensive ortho bill…

    • You are so right. Each kid is so different! And as my sister said, doesn’t everyone need braces at some point? I come from a family of five children and each of us had a different habit. (except, oddly enough the youngest who happens to have Down Syndrome) But the rest of us either sucked on a blanky or thumb. All of us had braces. All, but the youngest. hmmmmm.

      thank you for sharing!

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