Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Little Thumb Sucker

 My little boy is a thumb sucker.  He always has been.  In fact, we have a video of him from in my womb sucking his thumb.  He was sucking his thumb on the day he was born. When he was really little, he used to put one hand on his neck and suck his thumb with the other.  For the last few years he has been putting one thumb in his belly button while sucking his thumb.

When he was 3 years old, about to turn 4, he said he was going to quit sucking his thumb after his 4th birthday.  It didn't happen.  Then as his 5th birthday approached he said the same thing.  He made a really good effort.  He went the entire summer of 2011 without sucking his thumb.  We thought he was really done.  Then he started Kindergarten.  And you know...Kindergarten is stressful (lol), so he started it up again.  So for the last several weeks as he approached his 6th birthday, he was determined to stop sucking his thumb.

On Sunday morning (his 6th birthday) he said, "Mommy, I'm done sucking my thumb."  I was so proud of him.  He made it through the entire day.

And then it was bed time.

Usually we tuck Ethan into bed and he goes right to sleep, but Sunday night he kept getting out of bed and coming in our room.  He was stalling.  Finally I took him back to his bed (for the third time), he layed down, put his hands up over his head, looked up at me.....and then started sobbing.  It was enough to break a Mommy's heart.  "What's wrong, buddy?" I asked.  He said, "Mommy, I shouldn't have promised to stop sucking my thumb.  This is so hard.  It's like this force that's making me want to suck my thumb.  It makes my tummy feel better and I just don't know what to do."  I told him what a great job he was doing.  That I was proud of him for going all day without sucking his thumb.  I told him we would help him in whatever way we could.  We prayed together that God would help him to quit.  Then in true "Mommy-can't-handle-seeing-her-boy-so-upset" fashion, I told him that I didn't want him laying there upset all night and that if he needed to suck his thumb for a few minutes it was ok (Gasp...I know, I'm a sucker.......but not a thumb sucker).   I told him he could try to make it through the entire day the next day.  It is now Thursday and to my knowledge he has not sucked his thumb since Sunday night.  Last night was difficult for him, so I pulled out this little frog puppet of Ella's and let him wear it on his hand to keep him from putting his thumb in his mouth (he favors his left hand).  It worked! He made it all night without sucking his thumb!

I must admit, it makes me a little sad that my little boy is growing up so fast and that this is just one more step to prove it.  But the thumb sucking days aren't over just yet in my house....

Just like her big brother...

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