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July 10, 2013

Farewell, Sweet Sock

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


Deanna said...

A cute is that?! When did all these kiddos get so big?? : )

Julia said...

Yay! She did it! Mandy, what a beautiful way to gently encourage her to break her habit. Well done, Mama! :)

Olusola said...

Your girls are so incredibly sweet Mandy & that was a really smart and gentle way of getting her to break a thumb-sucking habit.

Double the Giggles said...

Too funny! ...and how creative that you introduced the sock as a means to end the bad habit.

Mandy said...

A great one for the books!

Mrs FF said...

Ha! Would never have thought of that

Johanna at The Baker Twins said...

So precious. Don't forget to stick that sock in her baby book. :)

cat said...

Well done on her! SUch a sweet little memory

Marcia (123 blog) said...

How on earth did you have the patience so long?!!!

Love the little sock and did your heart break a little bit?

I will cry when Thursday and Friday get retired!

Barbara Manatee said...

oh! that's sweet and funny!

All 3 of mine have a small blankie that they still are very attached to and sleep with. Sarah even took hers to her first sleep over and all 3 still take them to daycare for nap/rest time. Adam has even seemed more attached to it lately (likely due to some recent additional anxieties of his (i.e. dark, going anywhere in the house alone, etc). I am certain I'll likely be sad and nostalgic whenever one of them decides they're done.

On the thumb note - Jacob was a thumb sucker. Sarah and Adam both had pacifiers and their blankies but Jacob always had his thumb. We took pacis away at 1 year but I was worried how long that thumb would be his source of soothing. Then, one day, maybe around age 3.5 or so, we realized he wasn't sucking it at bedtime and couldn't remember the last time we'd seen him do it. I was sad for a moment but relieved we didn't have to deal with it any longer. :-)