Wednesday, March 17, 2010

But Mommy, I really want to suck my thumb!

Thumb habits. What are the odds that both of our daughters would battle them?

Lily gave hers up so easily right before turning three, that I was sure Jade's habit would not be kicked as easily.

I give props to our amazing dentist who I wish was not limited to pediatrics. I have sung her praises before.

Jade had her first appointment there two weeks ago. Here she is enjoying the tree house/slide in the lobby.

But after we went to the back, she became very timid and ended up shedding many tears during her lap visit with the dentist. I didn't even have to tell the doctor about her thumb habit. It was obvious by the shape/positioning of her teeth. So sad.

She told Jade that sucking her thumb gave her teeth owies and it would ruin them. Ruin her new princess teeth...that the "tickle bubbles" had just given her? That news got Jade's attention. Then she told her a little trick. She said that when her thumb wants to get in her mouth, she needs to lock it up (envision thumb tucked into palm of hand) and put it in its cage (fingers wrapped around thumb). Jade really seemed interested in this and immediately started saying, "No thumb! Lock up in cage!". Precious.

But seriously, I was thinking this wouldn't last for long. She is a serious thumb sucker and has been forever:

But then she also brought in four cute stuffed animals, matching her jungle themed office. She told Jade that if she stopped sucking her thumb, she could come get one of them to take home to live with her. Jade quickly chose the Zebra, gave it many hugs and cuddles, and put it night-night until she could return.

As we left the office, we called all the relatives so they could share in her excitement of locking up her thumb in its cage as well as the impending addition of a striped friend to our family.

Her thumb was only disobedient a few times that day and I was pretty excited about her progress. That night though, Lily had a friend spend the night, and I ended up sleeping in the guest bed with Jade while Lily and Mia took over the bunks.

Oh. my. word.

It was like sleeping next to a nursing calf the whole night.

Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp. Pause. Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp. Pause.

And of course when she woke up, she was so proud of the fact that she hadn't sucked her thumb last night.

I gave it a few days and then called the dentist to inquire about how to stop an involuntary nighttime habit. She doesn't use any mouth devices until age 4 or 5, so she just advised us to really talk about it right before bed.

It seemed like Jade really understood. Her sweet response several times was, "But Mommy, I really want to suck my thumb!" Broke my heart.

Since then, Jade has asked about Zebra 35,729 times a day, and has TOTALLY stopped sucking her thumb. I have tip-toed into her room to peer in her bunk by the light of my cell phone countless suckling calf has been found.

The other way I know she really has given it up, is that it is taking her a little longer to fall asleep both at nap time and bedtime. But that doesn't bother me at all!

And tonight, Zebra will be able to keep her company as she drifts to sleep. We are going to pick him up today.

Both thumbs locked in their cages!

I am so proud of you sweet Jade.


Harley Mom said...

That is so precious! I love your ingenius dentist who talked about "locking" up her thumb. Very creative. Kuddos to the dentist!

Alana said...

That is one of the sweetest posts ever! Bless her heart...I can see why you are so proud. Great job, Jade!

melissa said...

this is great! i will be trying this with my three year old. we made a big deal of her turning three and how she would then be a big girl and big girls don't suck their thumms. well that's lasted half a day. we still talk about it daily but I think the whole locking it up thing might just do the trick!!
Thanks for sharing:)

Charming's Mama said...

Kudos. I hope my son doesn't start sucking his thumb since we took away his binkie. That's my main worry.

I just found your blog today and the timing was perfect. Thanks.

Jeff said...

i can't believe the thumb in the cave worked. makenna looked at the dentist like she was crazy. we will see what they say in may. that is so awesome though!

Christina said...

opps jeff is christina :)

Rachelle said...

Way to go Jade!

To bad my mom did not find a dentist like that for me when I was a kid. I sucked my thumb until I was like 10 years old! :(

life with the wisners said...

ok. partly because i'm pregnant and EXTREMELY HORMONAL. but more because this post was so tender...

i cried reading this.

first, you're a good mama.

second, i love how excited she was at the end.

third, i love how excited YOU WERE for her.

and finally? the mental picture of her getting to go get Zebra? just about did. me. in.

loved this.

AmyB said...

So cute!! Loved it.

Matt & Kristin said...

oh wow, that is a great idea! Gracie was just at the dentist and he told her that the asst was friends w/ the Easter Bunny and that if she gave up sucking her fingers she would write him a letter and she would get whatever she wanted! Ha! I was thinking I hope she'll pay for it too :). What you dentist said was a MUCH better way to go! She is a noisy sucker too :). That top baby pick looks like Davy (a thumb sucker too).

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