Saturday, April 02, 2011

Maybe good, maybe not

D3 has been a compulsive finger-sucker since she first discovered that she had them. She's not just a situational finger-sucker, either. No, anytime the fingers are not actively employed in handing food in, they are in the mouth. They always look white and shriveled and smell like stale saliva.

So I'd been thinking about when and how to break her of this, and always, when the peaceful sound of focused sucking signaled that naptime had begun, come to the conclusion that now was not the best time.

Sunday, right as the church service was starting, she started whimpering over a cut finger. I had to quickly rummage through the back of the church for the first aid kit (fortunately I knew where it was owing to the events of my first visit to the church). I found a small round bandage and we persuaded her it was enough for now.

Not until we got home did we realize the horror of what had happened: it was one of THE fingers. And not until I tried to get her to take a nap that afternoon did I truly realize the full horror. She had no idea how to go to sleep without them.

"Try sucking your thumb," I suggested "Many people enjoy thumbs. Or what about your left hand?"

"They don't work!" she wailed. Nor would she put the finger in her mouth, with or without a bandaid.

Finally I gave up, being in desperate need of a nap myself, and called in the reinforcements. DOB finally managed to rock her to sleep, at great cost to his own afternoon.

Fortunately by bedtime she was so tired that she fell asleep rather quickly. But the same pattern has repeated all week long: no nap (which usually means she wakes D4 up after 45 minutes, instead of the blissful 3 hours we had been enjoying), then conking out at bedtime. One would think that tiny cut would have healed by now, but she insists that it still hurts.

I would be happy that we have found a way that at least is not my fault to be rid of the habit, except today I realized what is replacing it: she's sucking on her lower lip. Now she's got a red rash all along the underside of her mouth.

There's no winning this one.

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