When one of my daughters was around 4 or 5 years old, she became embarrassed about sucking her thumb, but she couldn’t quit. A neighbor friend had asked her to spend the night and she was afraid that her friend would make fun of her if she awoke to find Lindsey sucking her thumb, so Lindsey decided to find a thumb-substitute. Yes, you read that right. She searched through our toy box to find something – anything – that resembled a thumb. The only thing she could find among all the toys in the toy box was a red cylinder block.
As you might guess, while her imagination was great, putting into practice what she thought would work – didn’t. A hard block is no substitute for a thumb. But I gave her credit for trying to get rid of her habit and I gave her credit for facing her fears and spending the night at her friend’s house anyway.
As we fast-forward to a time when Lindsey was around 8 years old, she still had the dreaded habit, and she desperately wanted to be rid of it, especially since one of her new best friends in our new neighborhood invited her to spend the night and she really, really, really wanted to go.
Lindsey labored over what to do, though. The stress was overwhelming.
After days of wondering about how to handle her situation, she finally decided that the best approach would be to tell her friend the truth. Sheepishly and somewhat fearful about her friend’s response, she admitted to her little friend, “I suck my thumb.” And then something unexpected occurred. Her friend shrugged her shoulders and responded, “That’s OK. I wet the bed.”
I just loved (still love) that little friend :)