When I was young my mother told me if I didn’t stop sucking my thumb it would turn green and fall off. When I still wouldn’t unlatch myself she took me to my cousin Marvin’s house.
“Look at Marvin’s thumb.”
There wasn’t one.
“Ask Marvin what happened to his thumb.”
He told me.
“I sucked it, so it turned green and fell off.”
I stopped sucking my thumb that night.
Now THAT’S effective parenting.
It might not have been the “honesty is the best policy” approach many parents like to take-but I certainly appreciate what my mother did to help me. It would be bad if I was sucking my thumb at my bat mitzvah…wedding… a little extra comforting during the delivery of my daughter would have been nice…but overall good to stop sucking the thumb.
Now I’m starting to face some of my daughter’s habits and they are---well I wish she’d suck her thumb, then I could fly cousin Marvin out and we could move on. But of course her habits are as unique as she is, and I’m having trouble deciding if I should let her outgrow them on her own or try and help her out of them. Keep her behaviors main stream. I know that as a parent it is my job to teach her right from wrong. To guide her in her life. Help her make the right decisions.
But is it so bad to let wear her Crocs to bed at night?
When there is no immediate danger or damage it’s hard. I feel like I’m keeping her from being her-and Girl enjoys her Crocs. I know when people tell me their kids do weird things I tend to judge. Think man, if the fruit of my looms ever starts up with that I will smite the white right off her. I know I’m no better than anyone else though; all Mommies and Daddies have their Is My Child a Freak of Nature things to deal with. I just don’t want people to judge her, or me (well mostly me at this point) and clearly she can’t do this forever…but they look oh so cute pulled up over her footsie pajamas.
You know, even habits we do break manage to get replaced by others. I don’t suck my thumb anymore but when I’m stressed I tend to hum the most annoying songs. If you stop smoking you start eating chocolate. Stop shaking one leg the other one starts up. People need to self soothe, it’s in their nature. It’s hard to find the things inside you that will help you relax and are socially acceptable all at once. If I break her of this habit what is she going to take up next? Piercings? Twitches? Writing blogs involving porn?
It’s not main stream and it’s not the best thing to indulge her every need. I get it. But she’s happy and she sleeps the night. She even lets me put on other shoes from time to time. I have a few more months before she outgrows this pair….I guess I’ll hum “Bootylicious” and figure something out.