Saturday, July 29, 2006

I was a thumbsucker

I admit it. Big time. Until I was eight. Once I got to school I didn't do it in public, although I clearly remember getting my friends to play house in kindergarten so that I could be the baby and suck my thumb. When I broke my thumb at seven, once safely in my bed at night, I would oh-so-carefully pull the metal and foam splint thing off and gingerly suck my thumb through the night. As a side note, I also bit my fingernails, twirled my hair and loved my blankie to threads. I might have been an insecure child.

At some point my mother read a poem called The Story of Little Suck-A-Thumb. To me it will always be known as The Red Legged Scissorman. So my mother thought she would play a little trick on me. You know, her child. A sampling:

Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.
Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows
his hands;-
"Ah!" said Mamma "I knew he'd come
To naughty little
We were at my grandmother's house in the kitchen and she read me the poem. My grandmother wasn't there, as I recall, though I am pretty sure one of my (then teenage) aunts was). Then, coincidentally, the little girl from the house behind my grandmother's came over. She was about my age (5? 6?). Her thumb was firmly fastened to the palm of her hand with bandages. By all appearances (to me, anyway) her thumb had been snipped clean off. It was a lovely moment for me.

I have never thought the less of myself for having been a thumbsucker. With each of my babies I've helped them find their thumbs. None of them cared for their thumbs (crazy children!). They would look at me like I was trying to poison them. Until now. My Lydia is a thumbsucker. And she found her thumb herself. Right thumb, like her mama. Though she also enjoys the first two fingers on her left. But never the left thumb and never the right fingers. And if she continues until she is an adult, I will never read that poem to her.


Blogger Nicki said...

That is so mean! Did you buy it? Did you quit after that?

That picture of Lydia is heaven!! Look how beautiful! There is something about a thumbsucking baby that is so precious. My favorite picture of Noah is one of the few we have of him sucking his own thumb :-)

7/29/2006 9:12 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Oh, yeah, I bought it. I still sucked my thumb, but was scared to death for a while.

7/29/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

How cruel! None of my three children were thumb suckers nor did they ever want a pacifier. Seemed they decided I was the better option. And none have needed or wanted a lovie and I wonder if somehow they are missing out on some essential part of childhood. Lydia is adorable and her hat is smashing!

7/29/2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger Erin Monahan said...

oh Gretchen, could she get any more gorgeous!? She's SO utterly perfect, I just can't stand it, it squeezes my Mommy-heart reeeeeal tight. You better be SO glad we live so far apart, I'd have her absolutely ruined with spoiling her!

7/29/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Amanda--none of my others would take pacifiers, either. Again, the "you're trying to kill me" looks and lots of gagging. Only mama would do. Lydia just seems to be a very sucky baby. She even allows a pacifier in her mouth, though mostly to chew on it.

I actually bought the hat...couldn't figure out the pattern from the pics I saw and had to have it. (-:

Erin--if you're ever up this way, come on over! I predict this girly will be way spoiled. All the doting siblings, dontchaknow.

7/29/2006 11:36 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Thats so sweet. My oldest wouldn't have anything to do with thumb sucking, but my baby always has her left thumb in her little mouth. You have a beautiful baby!

8/04/2006 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

Awwww. I was a thumb sucker until 12 (I had to have an appliance installed to widen my jaw) Lydia is so cute. Great hat and dress!

8/09/2006 10:10 AM  

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