Earlier this month we marked one year since Benny’s diagnosis with Type I Diabetes.  Later this month he turns three. In between, he’s set his own milestones with a button and a fudder.   

Benny has been one of those kids who really love the pacifier.  At times, he’s had as many as three; one in each hand and one in the mouth.  Can’t sleep without it.  Trouble calming down without it.  We planned on taking them away at age two but we certainly didn’t plan on spending three days in the hospital that month.  After his diagnosis, we decided we wanted Benny to have as much comfort as he could without totally spoiling him, so the pacifiers – the fudders – stayed.

I don’t know why he’s called it a fudder.  When he was trying to learn to talk it started out as pudder.. which was fun ’cause we started calling him putter boy.  Our Pinehurst dreams were dashed when he suddenly changed to fudder. 

We’ve been talking all year about when to make him give them up.  (I say we, but it’s really all me.  If I left town for a few days I know Slade would have "cured" him of the fudder fever pretty quickly.)   We decided age three is the deadline.  We just didn’t know how to do it.  Then I heard about the pacifier fairy.

You know, she comes by when a child is ready to give up the pacifier and takes it away to a baby who really needs it.  Some fairies will even leave a toy behind as a reward.  We started talking about the fudder fairy a few weeks ago.  Slade hit it pretty hard, and you could tell Benny was paying attention.  He even told Slade the fudder fairy needs to wait until he’s older.

We got him down to just one pacifier and then – we lost it.  Really.  Saturday morning he asked for the fudder and we couldn’t find it.  His reaction was priceless.  "The fudder fairy took it!" he said to me.  He didn’t seem very upset so I decided to pounce.  "Wow, I think you’re right,"  I said.  And just like that.  It was over.

He had a little trouble settling down for sleep that first night, but a little less the next and now he seems over it. He never freaked out and asked for the fudder back.  I still can’t believe it. 

The other milestone had to do with his button.  That’s what we call the inset on his insulin pump.  Every three days we change the cannula that helps deliver the insulin.  We use what looks to me like a child’s stamper – the needle gets "stamped" in and then comes out, leaving the little tube under his skin. 

Changing it isn’t fun – Benny’s been pretty reluctant and I usually have to hold him still.  It’s been getting easier, though, and last night I asked Benny if he’d just lay down on his tummy while I did it.  He said sure – which shocked me.  30 calm, easy seconds later we were done and I was almost in tears.  He just knocks me out.

This is a little kid – he’s not yet three and he weighs all of 35 pounds – who day after day just keeps showing us how strong he is.  Tough and smart and now, fudder-free.