Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Sneaky Thumb

This is a tragic tale of a boy with good intentions but a weak will.

When Dude was a baby we gave him a soother. Against all medical and lactation consultant advice, we stuck the Soos in the crying baby's mouth and he magically stopped wailing. And it was good.

When Crafty was born we thought, what's good for the goose and all that, so we gave her a Soos too. She choked and gagged and sputtered in the dramatic fashion that is now her trademark. No Soos for Crafty. She became a finger sucker instead.

Then when wee Mischief came along we decided to try the Soos again. It worked as long as we held it in his mouth but as soon as we left him alone his sneaky thumb would wheedle its way into his mouth and pop the Soos out. Eventually we gave up our efforts with the Soos and gave into the cuteness that was our wee thumb sucker.

Fast forward six years and the thumb sucking is losing its cute-factor.

We have tried all sorts of stuff over the last year to get him to stop with the thumb sucking. We didn't really concern ourselves with it before he started school. We thought since Crafty quit the finger sucking once she realised that other kids don't really do that sort of thing that Mischief would follow suit but he doesn't care. Either he has supreme confidence or no shame (or a mixture of both) because he does not care who sees him suck his thumb. He gets himself up and dressed all cool and dude-like every morning, struts his way into the school, sits down for carpet time with his pals and sucks his thumb. ARG!

On Monday we had him at the dentist. My pal is a dental assistant for the dentist the kids see so before Mischief went in I told her to really put the pressure on about the thumb sucking. She did and so did the dentist. Mischief promised them that he would quit sucking his thumb by his next dental appointment. I was elated until we were on our way out to the van and he asked if I could wait a couple of years before I scheduled the next appointment because he wasn't ready to quit yet.

That night when I put him to bed we stuck a band aid on his sucking thumb and told him to sleep with his hand under his pillow. He said he would give it a try because he didn't want 'donkey teeth' when he was a teenager. Whatever the motivation, I was glad to see him try.

The following morning I found him sitting at the kitchen table, his head on the table, looking miserable. I asked him what was wrong and he held up the discarded band aid and moan that he is for sure going to have donkey teeth.

"What happened to our plan, Buddy?"

"I couldn't do it. The band aid was strangling my thumb so I took it off and then my thumb sneaked into my mouth! I couldn't make it stop. I'm miserable!"

Poor guy, life is rough when you have a sneaky thumb. Anyone know of a 12 step program for thumb suckers?

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