Yesterday I read an article about what I can expect my three-and-a-half year old to be doing right now. It said verbally she would be using all of these adult words, and she will try to do all of these adult-like tasks, but when she gets home expect her to go cuddle with her lovey. Most of this is spot on. Yesterday Twig said she wanted to read the ingredients on a box of applesauce, as well as commenting that the rain sounded "wonderful." She has also taken to wanting to snap herself into her carseat, which makes my heart skip a beat since I can't stand the idea of her pinching her fingers. Which brings me to her fingers. She sucks two of them-constantly.
When she started school back in September I was concerned since one of the rules is no hands in the mouth. At first I thought that was so unfair since that is a huge source of comfort for her. It was a slow adjustment period for her, but now I couldn't be more grateful for that rule because now I know she knows how to stop. At least for a few hours a day. Once I pick her up though, she is ready to make up for lost time though. Sometimes she remembers to ask if she can suck, but mostly the habit takes over her. My concern other than the obvious germs and dental issue is now her skin.
When Twig "found" her fingers at four months old we couldn't have been happier. It meant she could self sooth, which really meant sleep for all of us. It was the best thing ever. Of course, looking back every third picture of her she has those two fingers in her mouth, but it was worth it. We even drew celebrity attention when she was five months old at a Starbucks. Jody Foster came up to us and said her son sucked the same two fingers, and the good news is it didn't ruin his teeth. She told us her dentist said the concern is more with thumb sucking since that will affect speech and shift the front teeth forward. So thanks to Jodi Foster the dental issue is less of a concern now.
Twig has a bit of eczema though which will cause her whole face to get red. The sucking only makes it that much harder to stay on top of since she just keeps saliva around her cheeks and chin constantly. Lately, I have begun to show her how red her face is in the mirror. She also can see how red her finger is, which at the moment she can hardly bend because it is so swollen. She told me yesterday that she it was her last day and that she is big enough to stop now. The first sign of exhaustion or any emotional dip and her fingers went right into her mouth. I tried to give her a little spoon that she will occasionally such on in place of fingers but I fear this might be a long monumental task she has ahead. After all one of my best friends was a closeted sucker until she was eleven. I saw the movie thumbsucker, and even worse is I caught some twenty year old in his car sucking his thumb. I certainly don't want to make it so taboo that she is sneaking sucks when she enters adolescence. Four seems like a reasonable goal, but this is not up to me. Recently she wore a dress, carried her little purse, and had her fingers in her mouth. She may be growing up very fast but I do still see that she is my baby from time to time.