Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thumb Sucker

Oliver, who is eight years old, was gazing deeply into our dog Valentine's eyes this morning. Oliver was sucking his thumb, a habit that I believe for him is part defiance, part deeply sustaining. I reminded him to stop sucking your thumb (why do I do this, over and over?) and he said,

Mom, this is how I communicate best with Valentine. It's our secret.


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog -- and I am grateful to Deb for introducing us. I look forward to reading more on your beautiful blog.

  2. They both looks so content.

    Thank you for the award, I'll pass it on.

  3. That is the most deliciously sweet picture..I just love it...what can ya do?? Beautiful! Hugs, Sarah

  4. OMG, how are you going to argue with THAT???

    LOVE that you have a dog named Valentine!

  5. oh dear. that is too cute for words.

  6. ps my mom has a black poodle named Reni..

  7. I sucked my thumb until I was ten. And only because it became too difficult to close my mouth...because of a bridge put in to keep me from sucking. Two of my three children have sonograms with their thumb in their mouth.

  8. That should teach you to mind your own thumb, Mother.

    When my son was very little he fell in love with his thumb. We were living in Hawaii, and often he would meander about in his bare feet with a little bathing suit until he could somehow manage to escape from it and bare butt naked go around with his thumb in his mouth and a smile from ear to ear. Once I sent a photo to my late sisters of this wonder of the wilderness and I got a telegram back from them (this was in the sixties, no easy telephone to the other side of the world) and both said more or less "Get a pacifier it is easier to keep clean and his thumb is bad for his teeth". I, of course asked his Chinese pediatrician who poopooed the whole thing and told me to let him suck his thumb in peace.

    I forgot all about until the next photo went out of the naked wonder with the thumb planted firmly inside his mouth. Back came another telegram, so I gave in and bought a pacifier which promptly was discarded with a look of disgust and nothing I did could convince him to take it up again.
    When the third telegram arrived this time curt and obviously expecting me to follow "orders" I responded with another telegram:
    "He absolutely hates the pacifier.
    Should I cut his thumb?" We never touched the subject again.

    I don't remember when he stopped.

  9. there are worse things he could be sucking, right?

  10. Cute picture. Now, the whole thumb-sucking dilemma. At home I told the children I would be smearing cod oil all over their thumbs if I ever caught them sucking them. Never did. I don't recommend it, though. That's not good parenting :-), but it works.

    Greetings from London.

  11. I was a public thumbsucker until kindergarden and then a private one for who knows how long. My mom certainly doesn't know how long - cuz - well it was a private thing :)

  12. Hi Elizabeth. I know this is an older post and I found it from one of your 'you might like this' photos. I sucked my thumb well into adult-hood and was filled with shame about it until I came across a website for thumb-sucking adults. The shame was brought about by my never well-meaning parents of course. I had good reason to want to comfort myself to need that comfort. You know the area between the thumb and index finger that little web of skin? If it is massaged it releases a great amount of endorphins into the brain.

    I eventually stopped just stopped because I didn't feel I needed it anymore or maybe because I got properly medicated. I still remember being shamed by my parents though. It was heart wrenching and degrading and terrible and traumatic.



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