Friday, November 28, 2014

Breaking the Thumbsucking Habit the Wrong Way

Life can be described as a lollipop.

The sugary sweetness of life's happiness is irresistible and begs to be sucked.

We come from mother's milk to the bottle, then from the bottle to everlasting gobstoppers... it takes all our willpower to not rush ahead and bite through...

A one...

A two...

A threeeeeee....

Of course it's worth the wait, and though the sucking metaphor of life could easily be explored more in depth, I'd rather spend the time telling you about the little victory in my household revolving arounding 'sucking...'

Or rather, the Thumb-Sucker.

My youngest, as faithful readers know, is a precocious six-year-old. Her room, a little girl's paradise, is selectively filled with an impressive library of 'I Can Read' books, a few 'My Little Ponies', and enough stuffies to cushion the fall of a 300 lb man from a 5 story window.

And until recently, one,
single
purple
satin
blanky.

She has been a thumbsucker since before she popped into the world, with her first sonogram portrait showing her thumb wedged happlily in her mouth. During her first birthday, she had a hard time choosing between the thumb and cake, and at her six year checkup, the dentist started to make comments.

Scary comments.

When I first heard the word 'orthodonture' used in the same sentence as 'second mortgage,' I knew it was time to act. I understood it was a comforting act, one subconsciously enjoyed, and as such, was going to be a bear to help her break.

But in lieu of selling off an organ or two for corrective dental surgery, it was going to have to happen.

I tried pepper sauce first...

My neighbor threatened calling child protective services.

Next, a rubber skip-on-thingy used for sorting mail.

No luck.

I even considered duct-taping a hockey goalie glove to her hand for a time...

Then I stumbled upon an article on MommyEdition.com that helped me begin to see the light. The piece provided sound wisdom such as talking with her honest;y about her habit, about various habit-breaking aids, and about being aware and consistent.

That was where the key was hidden. I learned from watching her that she only sucked her thumb these days when she was holding her purple, satin blanky...

Problem solved.

I 'lost' the blanky. I couldn't toss it out, of course. That would be completely cruel. But, it does now reside in a taped up box of other childhood memories from her youth such as baby teeth, some impressionistic crayon drawings of owls, and a pair of infant Chuck Taylors.

No more thumbsucking... but now, I need to figure out how to cure her of a new habit.

She taken with using her thumb to pretend text on her play cellphone.