Pitiful

March 20, 2009

Bridget is three and three-quarters. She has been an avid thumb-sucker since about six months of age. On her last dentist visit I got the expected (but dreaded) lecture: “Her teeth are going to suffer if she doesn’t break that habit soon.” So we’ve been talking about it. She is much more mindful of doing it now, and even asks me permission to suck it during the day if she’s sad or bored. (Always makes me feel like a tyrant to think she feels like she needs my permission, but there it is…)

Last night, she decided – on her own initiative – that she wanted to try to go to sleep without sucking. And this is what she told me:

“Mommy, if I go to sleep without sucking my thumb, then when morning comes to the sky and I didn’t suck it all night long, I will be all grown up. Just like you. And I will become a guinea pig trainer.”

She didn’t make it. I checked on her twenty minutes later and she was sound asleep, tiny tell-tale slurping sounds coming from her little bed.

I really love that little girl.

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9 Responses to “Pitiful”

  1. Laura Lee said

    Oh goodness. I love your family.
    What a sweet little thing with such wonderful aspirations. I want to hug her.

  2. Jana said

    Oh, my goodness, what a doll. What a tough habit to break for a 3 year old. Miss you and think of you often!

  3. Mel said

    oh, what a sweet little girl! So cute ~ she gets a big A for effort!

  4. nfmgirl said

    Very cute! I still remember my parents trying to get me to quit sucking my thumb (I quit doing it before the age of two). They would tell me when I went to sleep at night to put my thumb under my pillow or between my knees. It worked for me! Like I said, done sucking my thumb by the time I was 2. You might suggest that to her…

    • Leanne said

      Good idea, nfmgirl! Although it’s pretty entrenched habit at this point. Should have broken it before Bridget turned two!!

  5. So sweet. I can’t wait to hear how it’s going b/c I’m going to right behind you with a thumb sucker as well. It’s so cute though.

    • Leanne said

      Laura, it is so sweet. And our oldest sucked her thumb and we finally bought a contraption called the “thumb guard” to help her when she was about four. It worked, but was a little heart=wrenching. And she has had orthodontic treatment already! But I think she would have anyway… I’m going to have to order Bridget the thumb guard; so far I’m just getting her used to the idea that the time is coming when she won’t suck her thumb anymore.
      Your baby is so cute. Let her suck! Esp. when they are babies, it is a godsend…

  6. Michele Corbett said

    Hi Leanne. So not many people know this, but I sucked my thumb until 3rd grade! And not just at night. The thing that got me to stop was my third grade teacher. She made a deal with me that if I stopped sucking my thumb, she would stop biting her nails – not sure she ever quit!

    I had a terrible overbite growing up. So much so that I had to have a pallete expander (a bar across the roof of my mouth with a key that I cranked each night to widen the roof of my mouth – ouch). In high school, I had my jaw broken and pulled forward. My jaw was wired shut for 6 weeks.

    I feel for Bridget. It’s a tough habit to break!!

    • Leanne said

      Yikes, Michelle! Your orthodontic treatment sounds violent and traumatic! Thanks for reading and commenting! It’s fun to know when people read my blog….

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