My Baby B has been a fervent thumb-sucker since she was about five months old. After her infancy, she only sucked her thumb while she slept, but she was very passionate about it.
Around the girls’ third birthday, we started talking with B about her habit. We compared her healthy left thumb to her gnarled right thumb, and encouraged her to give her poor thumb a break.
We didn’t push it…it was mostly a joke…but over time B agreed she wanted to quit, and she tried really, really hard. She would go to bed with her hand under her pillow, or wrapped inside her blanket…but when I would check on her after she’d gone to sleep, she’d be sucking her thumb.
On a whim, I asked B one night if she’d like to wear a sock on her hand to remind her not to suck her thumb. She was giddy with excitement!
I had read one time that it takes 21 days to break a habit, so in my mind, I thought I’d encourage her to wear her sock for a month.
A month later, B was VERY attached to her sock. She only wore it for sleeping, but before each nap and nighttime, it was like she was being reunited with a long, lost friend. The girls have never had any lovey, but B’s affection for her sock was pretty close.
June of this year marked one year of B’s sock habit. Occasionally I’d ask her if she wanted to retire her sock, and she would always say, “NO! I LOVE my sock!!!”
A week or so ago, though, out of the blue, B told me she wanted to sleep without her sock. She gave it a hug and a kiss and left it on my nightstand for safekeeping.
Over the next few days, she would shower her sock with affection before and after bed. She even pretended to host a birthday party for her sock one day.
Those affections were pretty short-lived, though. The sock is still hanging out on my nightstand (not necessarily because B wants it there, but – truthfully – because I haven’t tidied up in a week). B hasn’t mentioned it, though.
So…farewell, sweet Sock. You served us so well, and you will live forever as a tender (albeit a little odd) memory.
|B, proudly showing off her sock upon waking up on her fourth birthday|