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A little exaggeration goes a long way.. y’know.. sometimes.

I always knew there was a reason I kept trying to push pacifiers on Parker as a baby. DUH, we all want our kids to be self-soothers, not needing anything but maybe a little bit of rocking to go to sleep; Double DUH, things don’t always work out that way.

After trying what was probably 7 different types, shapes, and sizes of nipply looking suckers- I gave in. I am ashamed! But I gave in to the only thing that stopped this kid from screaming like a banshee instead of snoozing like babies are ‘supposed to do’ (so people tell me)- and that was his stupid little thumb. Evil pruney little thumb and the awful sound it made every time I heard it.

I swore that I would make him quit and give that thing up cold-turkey. There is no thumb-suckers anonymous or spa disguised as a rehab facility to send him to to help him with his addiction- and soon it became my addiction too. NO, I didn’t sit down and pop a finger in my friggin’ mouth, but it was nice to have a child who went to sleep without assistance from ME. We could all sleep, no fighting- until I tried to gently pop the sucker out of his mouth while he was sleeping and his eyes sprung open and the gates of hell along with them.
Relenting to having a thumb-sucker was never something on my to-do list, as I was an AWFUL thumb-sucker up to the age of 5, and let me tell you- it royally fucked my teeth up. Yeah yeah, deny that it’s truth all you want- that your teeth are super perfect and you sucked until you were 25- good for you! I was not so lucky, and over time I could tell that Parker was not so lucky; and when we went to the dentist and they absolutely insisted he stop by the time he turned 3- I knew I wasn’t totally batshit crazy about how it was giving him wonky-teeth.

Since that point, I haven’t just casually tried to get the child to stop popping his thumb into his mouth every time he sits on the couch or gets it into his head that he might be a little bit on the sleepy side- I’ve been all over his ass. I don’t know sports terms or anything, but I imagine you could compare me to some kind of gigantic defensive type person in super tight pants that tackles the fuck out of people trying to score points… or something. Don’t make me explain any further, it makes my head hurt.

All kinds of people from all corners of the universe suggested putting bitter shit on the kid’s thumb. Oh, no way will he want to suck on it once you do that!
THIS KID EATS LEMONS. HE EATS THEM. EVEN THE RIND.
Yeah, needless to say, that failed miserably. After the initial shock wore off he gave that thumb a good once-over with a tilted head and you could tell it was registering in that funky brain of his as “well, this ain’t so bad!” and back in the mouth it went.

I tried REASONING with him; “Only babies suck their thumbs, you’re not a baby are you?”- this worked a few times. Very few. And then he realized that I was manipulating the situation to get him to stop doing something he still wanted to be doing (even though I was totally being honest).
“I AM A BABY!”– thumb back in mouth.

I tried BRIBING him with candy. Toys. Golden child status. A plague of locusts!
No. The thumb always won.

Parker’s 3rd birthday is in 5 days. FIVE DAYS. Can you guess what he is STILL doing?
It was time to bring out the big guns. Threats. No, not of anything I will do to him (I’ve tried telling him I’ll shove his thumb into some heinous plastic torture contraption, but I’m pretty sure he’d find a way to suck around it)- but threats of things that will HAPPEN to him.

Every day, I think of new and horrible consequences for sucking his thumb to tell him. Nothing true, mind you- but things that no one would EVER want to happen to them. Well, no one with common sense anyway.

It will rot off, you’ll get worms; your skin will come off and you’ll be left with nothing but a bone; we’ll have to amputate; your mouth will get infected and we’ll have to cut out your tongue once it becomes gangrenous; All of your teeth will fall out of your head and never grow back and you’ll never be able to chew another cookie again; you’ll swallow finger gunk and grow fingers in your stomach that will dig their way out of you; you will turn into a flesh eating zombie, and NOT the cool kind, the super dumb kind that walks around and grunts for brains.
Still, even with all of that creativity and effort on my part, sucking away. Gross, slurpy, thumb-sucking sounds filled my house, so I did what I had to do. I came up with the most horrid thing I could imagine:
Your butthole will turn inside out and you won’t be able to poop if you keep sucking your thumb!

He looks over at me with a concerned look on his face and says, I quote, “but I want to poop…”
and starts biting his nails instead.

We’re considering amputation.

Posted on September 25, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 4 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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4 Comments

  • So with you on this one. Daniel is 5, in kindergarten, and is still a die-hard sucker. He doesn’t usually do it in public unless he’s *really* tired. Figures, out of 5 kids, the last one has to be the sucker.

  • My son never had this issue.
    I had an issue biting my nails though…
    There was this horrid, spicy crap my mom used to put on my finger tips.
    Lemons or not… he would hate it… It tasted… Like spoiled spicy cow turds left out in the sun. It was awful.

    I wish I knew a brand name or if it still existed. Some mother group probably banned it for being child abuse or something.

    What if you start to mimic him?
    Play it up… BIG… make him feel like you are making fun of him… He”ll hate that and stop in spite of you?

    Amputation… or electroshock therapy.

  • I actually snorted reading this. My 4 yr is an active thumb sucker. I’ve tried most of what you have and he’s still at it.

    His front teeth were starting to pull forward and were slightly angled outward. He recently decided to take the stairs in a laundry basket and loosened those bastards up royally so we’ve had to have them extracted. I asked the dentist at that time if maybe the missing teeth would prevent the enjoyed suction involved and make him not want to suck anymore. I barely got him back into the van after the extraction and he asked, “Can I suck my thumb now?”

    One track mind.

  • If it makes you feel better to know that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garners 6 year old daughter still sucks her thumb. Lol!
    I got my son hooked on his paci just so he wouldnt suck his thumb. He had it until his 3rd Birthday and then I got rid of it cold turkey. It wasn’t too bad. Good luck!