Monday, 4 August 2014

My Little Thumb Sucker

I am just going to put it out there.  My daughter sucks her thumb.  Yup.  There you have it. And I will be accepting my award for worst mum to add to my very large collection later. Here's the thing, everyone and their dog appears to have an opinion on my daughters thumb. Take the cashier at the local supermarket.  She could barely concentrate on scanning my groceries last week for enthusiasm of telling me a horror story about her friends friends cousins dogs friends owners son who has the worst teeth and still sucks his thumb, has a small hand from it and he is nearly 60. And then there's the lovely librarian lady...uh-no...she ain't so lovely when she is telling my daughter her mummy will have to chop her thumb off because big girls don't suck their thumb.  I mean, no wonder Baba sucks it, I would too if I was in constant fear of a sudden chop to steal one of my digits. 

"The Thumb"

When Baba was very small, I faced a dilemma of what to do as her comforter.  Nobody forewarned me about the decision I was about to make.  My choice was very simple, dummy or thumb.  And you know what, I just couldn't bring myself to buy a dummy.  (Now if you are reading this and your child has a dummy, then that is fine, and I am in no way going to criticise you.  I mean this parenting thing is hard enough-we all need any support we can get).  But for me personally, I think I had struggled so much to establish breastfeeding, I just couldn't face messing it all up for a dummy.  And then during all of this dithering and pondering, Baba found her thumb and the decision was made for me. 

I had warning after warning of the effect on speech, teeth, development, hand size, thumb size, you would have thought she was the only child on the planet to suck her thumb.  So I did what I usually do, and I Googled.  From my extensive research (I have lost count of the times I have looked this up) it appears that as long as the habit is stopped before the infants second teeth come through, then it will not harm teeth or speech. Now I have to say, my daughter takes after her mum in the sense that the girl never shuts up, and her speech is lovely and clear.  I do keep checking her teeth for any signs that they are growing at a 90 degree angle, but I have to say they all look lovely and straight to me.  

I go through phases of sheer panic now that my daughter is two, that she will be sucking her thumb at 60, have no teeth at all, and speak funny (like that guy the supermarket cashier knows) but then I get a grip, it's a thumb, and I aren't going to tape it up or threaten that a munchkin will take it if she keeps sucking it (yep, these were things I found on the internet!!). It would seem that the consensus is that the majority of children will stop themselves from sucking their thumb as they grow and develop and get a sense of being a big boy or girl.  Deep down I know when the time is right she will naturally stop.  I'm not a completely bad mum, if there was even a question of it affecting her long term then I would take immediate action now.  I don't mean chop it off, but I certainly would be doing something.  But nothing is telling me that this is the case at the moment.  I do make her take it out if she wants to talk, and to be honest she is so busy talking during the day, it's hardly ever in.  She tends to suck that little thumb when she is tired or unsure in new situations. 

So I think we will plod on and I will monitor this little thumb thing.  Me and Baba are OK with that.   Maybe the wise lady from the supermarket, the librarian, oh and did I mention the woman at the post office aren't, but back off ladies-and if you do threaten to chop my daughter's thumb off again I may just tell you where you can stick your own thumb!!!!


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