I have been looking at all the pictures that Dawne gave me for my birthday. Every time I walk by, I disappear into the memories that these precious pictures evoke. This morning, I was looking at a picture of my children, when they were really young. Drew was sucking away on a pacifier, Danae was sucking away on her finger and Dawne was sitting in the middle with her arms around both of them.
I started to laugh when I saw little Danae, sucking her finger. So, here’s the story.
When Danae was young, she was a thumb sucker. No matter what I tried or said to her, Danae just kept on going to sleep with her “wookie” (her blanket) in one hand and her thumb in her mouth. When it came time for her first official dentist appointment, I pulled the dentist aside and asked him to talk to Danae about why thumb sucking wasn’t a good thing to do. I figured that if this important-looking man in white” gave her some good reasons, she would listen and that would be the end of the problem. Oh, the naivety of a young mother.
Dr. Gardner was a wonderful dentist but at the time, he wasn’t a father so he didn’t have much experience in talking to children. He took Danae into the office and introduced her to the dazzling world of picks and drills. Then they had a little talk together. Danae came out of the office with a big smile on her face and immediately said to me, “Dr. Gardner told me that it wasn’t good to suck my thumb so I’m never going to do that again.” I was so pleased that my ingenious plan had worked and we headed home, a thumb -sucker -less family, once again.
“I guess we won’t have to budget for orthodontist work after all,” I smugly thought to myself.
Of course, the real test was to see what happened that night when Danae went to sleep.
When I checked in before we headed to bed, Danae was fast asleep with her baby finger in her mouth.
“Hm…that’s not good,” I thought as I pulled her finger out and then headed to bed.
The next morning at breakfast, I proudly announced to the whole family that Danae no longer sucked her thumb. Everybody clapped and Danae smiled. I could tell that she felt really good about this big accomplishment.
Later on in the afternoon, when the children were watching a T.V. show, I noticed that Danae was sucking her baby finger. I gave her a big hug and said, “Danae, remember what Dr. Gardner said about sucking your thumb?”
Danae looked at me and with great confidence, responded with this little gem.
“Mommy, Dr. Gardner told me not to suck my thumb and I obeyed. I like my baby finger better anyways.” She poked her finger back into her mouth and that was the end of that conversation. What could I say to that? From that point on, she was a baby finger sucker.
We all have the tendency to hear what we want to hear, don’t we?