Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Sucked in Bed

Fine. I'll admit it. I am a thumb sucker. Well, I was a thumb sucker.

I sucked and sucked and sucked my left thumb until the embarrassingly old age of nine. Every night as I hopped into bed, I would find my thinned-by-love blankie under my pillow and embrace it up to my right cheek. Simultaneously, my left thumb would burrow itself into its warm, cozy home for the night; right in between the palate and tongue of my mouth.

Because our family dentist and my pediatrician gave no indication of any harm being done, my parents were very tolerant of the situation at left hand. I continued to suck and suck and suck throughout my childhood years.

Eventually, as I aged my way through elementary school, the sleep-over invitations began tumbling in. I told my mother I did not want to sleep over. My sucking secret could not be unleashed upon my public persona! At my urging, my mother would politely decline the invitations on my thumb-sucking behalf.

Finally, I received an invitation I could not refuse. My best friend, Ellie, was having a not-to-be-missed sleep over. Everyone at the sleep over was going to experience a thrill many others have NEVER experienced. This was a one night only opportunity! I would never again have another experience like it. It was new, it was rare, it was expensive and I knew my parents would never spend their hard earned dollars on such nonsense. They had bills to pay.

I had to go. 

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

I would never see one again. 

I would never get to touch one again. 

I would never get to play with one again. 

It was awesome. 

It was an Atari.

I needed to put an end to being such a thumb sucker.

The sleep-over was in two weeks. I hatched and forged a rigid schedule to end my sucking days. Every night, after brushing my teeth, I would dip my thumb in some untastey matter: lemon, jalapeno pepper juice, acetone, Tabasco, etc.

Unfortunately, every night, my sucking thumb would still make its way into its cozy home. Clearly, it was telling me, "Suck me."

I needed a road block to inhibit this sucker from finding its way home. So, even before Michael Jackson made his fashion statement, I was the one-gloved wonder. Yet, despite the glove, I sucked.

In complete frustration at all my sucking failures, I found myself flipping over onto my stomach and burrowing my face into my pillow. 

I sucked.

I could not let this habit define me. I could not suck my whole entire life. Knowing this was the time to break the sucking cycle, I took both my hands and jammed them underneath me. 

All night, I slept with both hands weighted underneath my nine-year-old body. 

That night was the first night I didn't suck in bed.



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57 comments:

  1. Did the same thing till I was about 5. My mother and godmother exchanged horror stories about what happened to little kids who sucked their thumb, making sure I could overhear them. I stopped that night.

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    1. I was such a little sucker, I don't think that would have stopped me. I was a sucking addict.

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  2. At least you only sucked your thumb. When I was young I used to suck the knuckle on my index finger, my finger is still slightly crooked.

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    1. Knuckle? Never heard of that, but my left thumb is still shorter than my right. :(

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    2. Yeah, I guess I was always a little weird. :)

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  3. I LOVE this post. My son is a thumb-sucker and it doesn't bother me one bit, except when I think about any potential embarrassment it might cause him one day. I love the play on words too. Well done.

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    1. Thank you! Don't worry, your son will figure it out... eventually.

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  4. I was such a thumb sucker the dentist put a cruel contraption in my mouth at the age of 8. It had three large metal spikes that cut my tongue and totally prevented any thumb sucking (it was cemented to my back teeth). They called it a "blocker". I call it cruel and unusal punishment. but it did work lol.

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    1. OMG! That sounds like child abuse! I can't imagine!!! Horrible!!!

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  5. You have quite the knack for blog titles!

    I never had a thumb-sucking issue, but I stuck my tongue out when I concentrated. The result was this awful appliance type thingie when I had braces, that was supposed to help me swallow correctly or something. The Lawyer also used to stick out his tongue when he concentrated.

    (By "used to," by the way, I mean we both still do...)

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  6. You had tremendous desire and willpower for a 9 year old. And I'm sure Pong was worth it :)

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    1. Gotta love Pong! It was AMAZING!!! (and I don't use that word lightly!)

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  7. My childhood habit was using the feeding bottle, I just couldn't do without it. But when I was six, my mother's friend made a remark which embarrassed me, I subsequently threw my feeding bottle in the bin. That was the last time I used it.

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    1. Hehehe! I guess we all get rid of our habits on our own and when we're ready.

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  8. Loved this post! You are too funny.

    Never was a sucker but my sister was obsessed with her pacifier...when she was started Kindergarten at my new school, I swore I wouldn't let her ruin me by using a passy during nap. So...I stuck the tip of it in cayenne pepper...I was grounded for a really REALLY long time. BUT, I got the mother sucker to stop the sucking!

    ;)

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  9. So interesting that you hatched your very own plan for breaking the habit and carried it out with no adult help or encouragement. I hope the sleepover was as spectacular as advertised!

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    1. I do remember playing Pong! We all thought we were living in such a technologically advanced age! Oh, if we only knew what more was to come!

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  10. I sucked, too. And remember half asleep half awake my grandma walking into my room and applying some sort of peppery substance on my thumb. They blame I had to wear braces because of it. Now I have an 8 year old who still sucks her thumb. I think it may be in the genes.

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    1. How awful! FYI, I never needed braces. My brother didn't suck and he had braces.
      I don't know about the genes. My daughter wasn't a sucker. So, who knows?

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  11. I can't believe you did it all by yourself... that is awesome!
    Great story by the way! I loved your suspense and the big reveal of the Atari. Haha, we were SO easy to please, weren't we?

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  12. I wonder if the sleepover was as fabulous as you thought it would be? My daughter is a thumb sucker but she's neer turned down a party invite.

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    1. I remember having a fantastic time! Pong, cake and ice cream... what else does a girl need?

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  13. You sweet girl! I want to give your nine-year-old self a big hug. And your grown up self too. Growing up is so damn hard! This is a great story, well told, with a kick-ass title! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks! Growing up is just the pits. I'm still working on it! ;)

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  14. An Atari was totally worth it, I'm sure! The habits we have at bedtime, the things we do to self-soothe, to relax, these habits are strong. I can relate. Great post!

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  15. I was a thumb sucker too. I still sleep with my thumb in front of my lips. I didn't notice it til my boyfriend mentioned it. Apparently I also put my thumb to my lips when I'm nervous or thinking. Strange.

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    1. I still like to sleep for a bit on my stomach with my hands underneath me! I guess I just exchanged one habit for another.

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  16. Yet again you have tackled a topic that is relatable to so many of us with a humorous vibe. I too sucked my thumb as a young child. It helped me to cope with my insecurities when my parents got divorced. You just never realize how many kids have or are struggling with this issue. Another great post! Thanks.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this. My little sister-in-law is 8 and she sucks her thumb. Unfortunately, her parents aren't so tolerant. I've always thought she'd stop when she was ready too. But now I see it more as a coping mechanism for her - I'm pretty sure she was weaning herself off until her big bother passed two weeks ago (he was 32). Now it's almost constant: watching tv, reading, and sleeping. I still think she'll stop when she's ready, I just wish her parents wouldn't yell at her every time she starts sucking.

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  18. I was a thumb- sucker until I was 8. I only sucked my thumb when I had my teddy bear, so my parents "forgot" my bear (that I distinctly remembered loading into the car) for a two-week trip. Not having my bear broke my habit, and I didn't take it back up when I came home and found him.

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    1. I still have my blankie in a box in my garage. I love knowing it's still there.

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  19. Wow! You were a determined little kid! Love your description of the awesomeness of Atari.

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  20. I too love that you managed to deal with it yourself. I think that's why I like this post the best of those of yours I've read so far - the humor and wordplay is intelligent, as always, but I like the fact that it's counterweighted by a story that shows a bit of depth.

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  21. Oh you resilient little girl! I love it. I was a huge thumb sucker until about 6 or so. I don't remember ever stopping or being embarassed, but I love your chutzpah!

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    1. Once my sucking began interfering with my social life, I knew I had to take action!

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  22. Hahahaha! I sucked that long too, and I honestly don't remember how I broke the habit. I can still recall how soothing it was to have that thumb in there and I STILL curl my hair like I did when I sucked.

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  23. I was never a thumb sucker, I was a hair chewer :) But I still could feel the sensation of sucking my thumb, you described it so well!

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  24. This post is awesome Emma! My younger son sucked his thumb too. I decided not to fight the battle and you know what? There's always an "Atari" motivator in every generation. You did a great job incorporating all of the yeah write advice in this post!

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    1. Thanks, Stacie! I'm sure you'll son will quit when he's ready. And don't worry...I didn't need braces.

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  25. Loved it. I've never sucked in bed by the way. ;-)

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  26. Love the title. And the post. I have a daughter like this and I don't know if it is ever going to end. You give us hope. And an Atari? That rocks.

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    1. Thank you! I'm sure your daughter will quit when the time is right for her. I don't know of any wife who sucks her thumb while in bed with her husband. Hehe!

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  27. You're funny. The title of your post was enough to make me read it. I knew it wouldn't be about what you'd think it was about, but I had to see what it was about anyway! I sucked my thumb for a long time as a kid too. My thumb ended up getting very raw and painful from it. My mom told me that if I stopped sucking my thumb, it wouldn't hurt anymore. So I stopped. Or so the story goes. I imagine that my mother is exaggerating my resolve. I'm stopping by from the blog hop. I'm now following you via GFC and Linky. Great blog. Love the x-ray of the foot in the stiletto. If I walked around in shoes like that, I would probably need an x-ray too! :)

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  28. Nice job titling this post! I saw you all the way down in the 50s on the Mommy-Brain Mixer and was making myself be patient until I got down there to find out what in the world you wrote about! ha! I'm so glad you linked up to the Mixer and I hope to see you again on Thursday! Also, come on by and enter to win a super adorable Thirty-One bag or some awesome discounts on a Thirty-One order! :)

    ReplyDelete

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