After a month of trying out the many different ways of sucking on his hand (two fingers, three fingers, knuckles, finger & thumb, entire fist shoved into mouth…), on Tuesday night Jack sucked his thumb! I have been praying for this. It seems thumb sucking has so many promises – unlike pacifiers thumbs don’t get lost, roll into nasty corners (well, not yet anyway), they are self-soothing, and I personally loved it when I was a kid. I sucked my thumb until my parents bribed me to stop – I got Super Mario 3 out of the deal!
Now, if only Jack could remember how to suck his thumb. He still has to explore before he gets it into his mouth just right and I can hear the slurp of the drool that has covered his hand (music to my ears!). And when it’s time to go to sleep he starts looking for his thumb, but frustration causes his hands to clench and that thumb will not be found. I then have to give him his pacifier so he can calm down and go to sleep.
I feel a dilemma coming on. Should I continue to give him his pacifier? Or should I hold off and see if he can eventually find his thumb? These are the kind of questions that have caused me to doubt my ability to take care of Jack. I know that seems lame, but I begin to obsess over them, weighing the options until I can’t think straight. Then when Jack gets frustrated I am ready to give up because I can’t fix it. I can’t help him the way it seems he needs to be helped.
From everything I have heard, when babies start sucking their thumbs they eventually ditch the pacifier. But right now, Jack only seems to be able to suck his thumb when he is calm. It has only been a couple of days. Will he get better? Will he always prefer his pacifier?
Not that I am against the pacifier. I was so surprised when I found out there was controversy over that. (Is there anything concerning raising kids that everyone agrees on?) No, I’m not against the pacifier – so far it has been my friend. I am just very pro-thumb sucking.
So keep at it Jack. I know you can do it!!