Today is Friday. On Wednesday Akka picked up the bottle of bad-tasting nail polish that was in our large pile of discarded thumbsucking deterrents. I *very casually* asked if she’d like some help painting it on her nails. She said yes. I helped her put it on and she set out for school with shiny, glossy, bad-tasting fingernails.
After school she stuck her thumb in her mouth and made a face and took it out again. No big deal. She seemed fine with it. It wasn’t until bedtime that things got hairy. She started wailing that she wanted her thumb. Not bratty wailing – real, sad crying about the misery of wanting one’s thumb and of realizing that shiny, glossy nails are fun during the day but anguish at night. We told her she was being brave and strong and that she’d be ok. I left to go out to play the ukulele and let K handle the first thumb-less night alone. I also made sure he knew where the nail polish remover was before I left, thereby confirming that I am not the parent who is best equipped to handle the first thumb-less night.
She did it. She held on to her little stuffed toy and read her book and fell asleep without her thumb (so I’m told. I was out
playing the ukulele drinking). In the morning she said it had been a tough night but once we started treating her like a freaking hero she stopped complaining long enough to let a few shy, proud smiles sneak through.
She did it again the next night. And today we painted her nails with colour and put the yucky stuff over top. I’m crazy-proud. I even took her to the store and bought her one of the dolls that she loves and I hate. I know it might not last (and she knows it too) but we’ve been talking about how the worst is over – now she knows she can go without it. It’ll never be as hard as that first night (right?!!). Too bad they haven’t bottled the comfort that comes with thumb-sucking and turned it into some kind of skin patch that I can slap on her arm when she’s having cravings. Jonesing for her thumb.
So is this the beginning of the end of thumb-sucking for her? We shall see. Let’s just call it a beginning of an end.