Monday, October 26, 2009

I could have just as easily gone to bed instead of writing this.

You know what? In high school and college I wrote much more freely than I do now. I think part of it was because fewer people who knew me in real life were regular readers and part of it was I hadn't experienced or realized all the doubts/fears/what ifs of life yet.

I think I've become more insecure. I've definitely changed. Or maybe I've collected more reasons to be insecure, if I ever felt the need to be. I think that's closer to the truth. It isn't just me anymore. It's me plus a husband plus a daughter or two. I'm more invested and there's more to lose if I'm somehow "doing it wrong." And boy do the doubts threaten to overtake me if I'm feeling particularly despondent.


Superman is taking dietary supplements (to build muscle or lose fat or some such thing) and regularly uses our Magic Bullet blender to mix his shakes, morning and night. Up until recently he's also regularly left the blender on the counter, which is almost always in my way (never mind the stacks of things I leave on the counter!) Instead of nagging him about it or putting it away myself time and time again, martyr-like, I've taken to putting it away in creative places through-out the kitchen. And wouldn't you know it - he's started putting the blender back where it goes each time! Imagine that! It had us both laughing which is always a plus when there's a possibility for conflict. I'm just waiting for him to employ that same tactic on me.

I despise nagging, especially in myself. No one likes to be nagged. It's easy to stop nagging your kids - just follow through the first time they don't do something. But what about a spouse? What if I (for example) ask him to change the oil and I keep asking and asking, but no action results. I normally just do whatever it is myself, but there are some things I am (was) physically incapable of doing (largely pregnant) and we had agreed that paying someone else to do it wasn't good for our budget. Same goes for packing your own lunch to work. Or mowing the lawn.

I usually ask once or twice and if nothing happens then I just do it myself. No big deal, right? It's me that's bothered with whatever it is in the first place, so I can do it. However, this approach guaranteed that I was the only one to clean the bathroom that I shared for 4 years with my cousin. My threshold for dirt-tolerance was ALWAYS lower than my cousin's. But he used the bathroom too! It's not FAAAAAAIR. I shouldn't AAAAAALWAYS have to do x, y or z... and there goes the martyr, which I despise almost as much as nagging.


I am at my wit's end when it comes to convincing Val to stop sucking her thumb. She has ONLY done this since Elaine was born and ONLY when she's falling asleep. Sometimes the thumb stays in most of the time she's asleep; other times I can remove it successfully or it falls out of her mouth. Pacifiers don't last long because she inevitibly bites them and I am not thrilled with the costs of endless pacifier replacement. When she bites them they don't work because she sucks air in through the little cracks (she disqualifies them.)

I had been putting an all-natural bitter-tasting spray on her thumbs but she's recently become immune to that as well! I was shocked because that stuff is NASTY! I have no idea what else to try! Band-aids come off. So do gloves. I've tried praising her and rewarding her when she isn't sucking her thumb but eventually she always gets tired enough to where she just doesn't care that big girls aren't supposed to suck their thumbs and does it anyhow.

I don't want to punish her (or create negative emotions) for thumb-sucking because that would only increase her anxiety about it which would create the very emotions she would sooth by thumb-sucking. I would be a whole lot more relaxed about this if she didn't have two huge sores on each thumb. I don't know how she hurts herself via thumb-sucking but she does. I think it's probably due to her over bite (which she had before she ever began to suck her thumb) and the lower front teeth press up against her thumb. How this eventually breaks the skin I have no idea, but it does. It doesn't have time to heal because every nap and bed time the thumb is back in her mouth. The sores look terrible and have only been getting worse since the bitter stuff stopped working.

Help? Anyone? I plan on emailing her pediatrician for ideas also.


  1. The non-thumb-sucking portion of your post put some things that had been meandering about my mind into words for me. I could go on at length, but I'll save that for an email:).I wish I had an answer for the thumb-sucking. Norah sucks hers a LOT. As in so much I'm stunned it didn't interfere with her learning to talk. But, :) I tried the bitter stuff--she was COMPLETELY unfazed. Weird. She was very upset that I wouldn't put pink polish on her thumb--I hoped that would work, but I don't put polish on often...maybe I should?? For right now, I'm just trying to remember myself to remind her that she can only do it when she's sleeping. Which makes all this moot, since that's what you're trying to stop:). Welcome to my mind:). The sores definitely make it more troublesome. I do think there's some sort of thumb brace thing you can strap on, but it'd better be childproof!! Let me know what your pedi. says--I'm interested to know!

  2. If you figure this one out, let me know. Emma has sucked her thumb since she was only weeks old. I've been thinking of all kinds of practical habit-breakers but haven't done much when it comes to trying them out. I did start working on her vanity. Her thumb looks awful too - every once in a while I'll pick up her hand and exclaim in (pretended - I try to be convinging) horror at how terrible her thumb looks, strongly focusing on thumb sucking being the culprit. Emma also looks at her thumb in shock and it seems her thumb stays out of her mouth for a short while. I just don't know how we're going to get rid of this habit. She'll even switch thumbs if I make the usual one less desirable.