Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quitting the Habit

Relaxed and peaceful!

It makes me what to take a nap just looking at them!

When I was little I would suck my knuckle and "silky" the edge of satin rimmed blankets... it was heavenly and a habit I didn't want to give up!

I had a grandpa who smoked and was trying to quite so when I was 4 he said, "Marci, I have a bad habit too... (I was sucking the knuckle at the time)... In fact, we both have very dirty habits. Do you want to be my buddy and quit the habit with me?" I liked that idea, because I thought smoking was gross and I knew it was bad for him and I wanted to help him quit. He said, "Ok then... I'll quit my stinky habit if you quit yours... deal?" and we shook on it.

We both kept up our end of the agreement.
I fell off the wagon once, but my mom reminded me that my grandpa was working so hard to quit and I'd feel sad if I didn't do it too... out came the knuckle. Much to my delight the next time I saw my grandpa he showed me "no more cigarettes"!!! I felt so happy and I promised him I hadn't been "on the knuckle" either.

Well, we have 2 (well really 3, but one is still a baby) that love to suck too... thumbs.
Very honestly I think pacifiers are disgusting... really gross and weird... it is the whole sucking on plastic thing that gets me... so I never even offered them to our babies. We are certain one of our babies sucked in utero and I suspicion the other did too, because they basically sucked their thumbs as soon as they found them!

Elias will be 5 in a few short weeks, and for months I've been reminding him that "big boys don't suck their thumbs... so when you turn 5 you'll have to make yourself stop..."
He seems ok with it.
Recently he walked up and handed me his little scrap of fuzzy blanket, called "Ree-ree" and said, "Mom, you can keep Ree-ree, I don't need it any more." and walked off. I was proud. I think he is ready to quit the habit for good!

Cora is 3 and a half, and normally I wouldn't "push" the issue, but her thumb is raw... in really bad shape... that thing gets a lot of use! One day she showed me it was cracked and bleeding in addition to red and raw! I told her "You need to stop sucking it so much... or it will fall off..." I know, not the truth, but I thought it might work. So, she switched thumbs... of course.
But I figured while I'm on "thumb patrol" I might as well work on both of them???

I am taking various potty training methods and applying the same principles to Thumb Training:

- We are removing the "lovies" to avoid temptations (ie their "ree-ree's").
- We are covering the thumbs with soft cloth tape... like medical tape (as oppose to buying $30 "thumb guards" or special gloves).
- I taped Cora's bunny's "thumbs" too... and we are playing like bunny finds it hard but is determined to succeed. :-)
- I am rewarding periodically for dry tape with some candy.
- Lots of praise and no sweat.
- I'm going to set them both down and tell them my story of when I stopped the knuckle and share how "big" I felt.
- We are going to keep up the taping for well longer than needed, just to ensure it is not a temptation.

I'll update on our success or failures...


lucashannon said...

I'm excited to see how things go for you! Owen is quite the thumb-sucker as well and while he only just turned two, I've wondered how we're going to get away from it eventually. So please share a follow up someday. :)

Erin said...

I used to "silky" the edge of my blanket too! I didn't think anyone else used that word!
Good luck!

Marci said...

Erin, I knew you were a good person! :-)