OK, so Coco still takes a binky in the car.
She's two and a half. I'm pretty sure she should get rid of the binky. But she's the baby. And she loves it. We (mostly) limit it to bedtime, car time, and as a remedy for serious insult or injury. It's so sooooothing. For all of us, because baby girl cries LOUD.
Anyway, on the four and a half hour drive to my parents' house, she definitely gets the binky. But she's still not the pleasant little traveler her sister is (no sarcasm there--Zuzu has been a brilliant traveler since she was born. Coco is much less happy in the car).
So we attempt to meet her needs with snacks, new toys, crayons, and, when things get really grumpy, the binky. But on very long car rides, even the binky doesn't necessarily keep her happy and when she's raging, she'll throw her binky and then SCREAM for it. It makes for a super enjoyable drive.
I planned for this by putting an extra binky in my purse, but she’s as capable of tossing away two binkies as she is one. We were on the backroads of Missouri, heading to my parents’ house, when this exact scenario played out. She was screaming for her binky, and I was asking her to use her words and tell me where she put it. She said it was “Behind Cooper.”
The girls are pretty cozy in the backseat, with their two big carseats on each side and just enough space for Cooper to sit in the middle. We put a beach towel down to try to keep the shedding to a minimum (never really works). Anyway, as David navigated the curves in road, I unbuckled my seatbelt to twist around, hang my torso into the backseat, and dig around behind Cooper to find the binkies.
Sure enough, they were both back there, under his haunches. Just as I found them and gave them to Coco, Cooper let out a super stinky fart that was so bad I actually rolled down the windows. He occasionally has what I call “dead ass smell” because it smells like a combination of ass and dead animal. It is TERRIBLE, and only my love for him makes it at all bearable. Anyway, Coco popped the binky in her mouth just as he let loose with dead ass smell and I had to roll down the window because it was so gross.
At the same time, Coco starts crying (again) but this time she's saying, “Binky yucky!”
I figured it had dog hair on it (let’s take a minute to remember the days when I would have sanitized a binky before I let it near my baby’s mouth… those days are obviously gone.) so once I got the window rolled up and the dead ass smell had mostly dissipated, I told Coco to hand me the binky so I could wipe it off with a handiwipe.
She handed it to me and I looked at it closely to see if there were hairs on it. Then I immediately started gagging. Then choking. Then hardcore retching and dry heaving.
Cooper’s butt had leaked some brown liquid. It was on the front side of the binky (not the nipple), but when Coco had sucked on it, she’d actually sucked some of the liquid poop INSIDE the nipple. And there was still brown poo juice on the handle of binky (and also on my hands).
I was horrified that I had handed dog-poo butt-juice binky to my baby, and also horrified that said dog-poo butt-juice was now on my hands. Plus the smell itself was horrific (dead ass).
I seriously thought I was going to vomit. I had to roll down the window and hang my head out, heaving and gagging as David passed a semi.
Zuzu was yelling over the wind roaring in my window, “Mommy, are you going to frow up?’” and I was frantically trying to get the handiwipe package open so I could wrap up the binky (to dispose of—thank the baby Jesus I brought an extra) and use another wipe to give all of my exposed skin a sponge bath in a desperate attempt to rid myself of the dead ass poo juice smell that now seemed to be clinging to the inside of my nostrils.
Coco's favorite butterfly binky is now ruined. The beach towel on which Cooper was sitting needs a bleach bath. And we still have about twelve more hours in the car before this holiday season is over.