Magic moments: the thumb
Just before we started sleep training (yes, we did that, it’s a thing that some people do), we noticed that E was becoming super, super attached to her dummy. In the early days it was a life saver — she obviously needed something to suck on in a big way, and she was such a lousy eater, and then later such an efficient eater, that I never seemed to fill that need. And for so long, they’re incapable of finding their hands (that’s almost a joke, like they couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. Except it’s true).
Anyway, so she had a dummy for months. But it was becoming a problem, because she was getting needy about it, and I think we were also over-using it. I sort of realised that we never saw her face fully, and if she ever started protesting about things, we really quickly popped it into her mouth, which often shut her up but also made me a little sad. Plus, if it fell out at night or nap time, it would wake her. She’d search for it, but was too young to actually find it.
When she was about 4 and a half months, we cut the dummy out cold-turkey. It was really brutal, actually, because for a few days she was obviously searching for it. She’d make sucky noises, or put her fist to her mouth, or grab on to our hands and suck on our fingers (hard!). And putting her to sleep was more difficult. But, mercifully, not having it in her mouth seemed to help her stay asleep once she got there.
Maybe a week after this all went down, she found her thumb. Now, I know this probably isn’t a big deal for most people, but the thing is (and yes, I know by admitting this on the interweb the entire planet, including the CIA, will now know), I’m a thumb sucker myself. In the current, now type way. So, I’m actually chuffed that my child has joined the ranks of fingers-in-mouth folks. I really empathised with her about losing the dummy, because I know first-hand (see what I did there?) how soothing that action can be. Plus, she can do it herself, whenever she needs it. I mean, rock on!
So recently, I decided I’d take a nap with her. It was time for one of her day-time snoozes, and I was pretty tired, too. We got into the big bed, and lay there facing each other. Her thumb goes into her mouth, and inevitably, so does mine. Then she puts her hand into mine. SHE PUT HER LITTLE THUMBSUCKING HAND INTO MY BIG THUMBSUCKING HAND. And we held hands, sucking our thumbs, and fell asleep together.