Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wolf Teeth... and how they inspire

Last Friday night we thought we'd start talking with Marian more seriously about how she needs to stop sucking on her "sleep toy" to sleep.  I thought it would be something like taking her off drugs....  when she used it (ie- every time she closed her eyes for sleep) her eyes would roll back in her head and she'd drift off to sleep easily.   If it was "spicy" (read stinky) she would wait up for however long it took me to get her a new, clean one.  We even went through a time where this addiction included sleep toy needing to be pre-wet for her (the ears and hands that she sucked on needed to be dipped in drinking water.)  Oh how many days of my life have I spent on her sleep toy addiction?

We knew she needed to kick the habit before her big teeth came in and it wasn't looking like she was progressing towards that on her own.  We needed to help her and really wanted to make it a positive experience so we started stalking up on prizes..... and I thought I'd just prime the pump a little to show her some pictures I found online of what happens to your teeth when you suck on encourage her that it would be worth it to slowly move away from this bad habit.

I googled "ugly thumb sucking teeth" and this one picture was the most ghastly. (From the link, scroll down a bit.  I first posted the pic, but man, it's just too awful to put here!)  I cuddled her while we looked at several picutres and I shared with her that although we love her sleep toy, if she sucks on it too much, her teeth will probably look more and more like this....  And of course, she didn't like that news one bit.

That night she didn't touch her sleep toy.  She woke up finding it near her feet on her bed.  It was dry and she was beaming (she wanted that prize).   And she's only sucked on it for a few minutes since then, begging for a clean one as soon as she remembers that she doesn't want to suck on it any more, and then she keeps the clean one dry all night.  What a girl.

It's shocking to me that this wasn't a physical addiction at all.  Once she chose to be done.... no problem.   I really thought her sleep was somehow physically dependent on sucking this toy.  But what a grace to be wrong!  She's done great!!!

Good bye to being used like this, Sleep Toy, old pal.
But we're glad you can stick around as a cuddle toy now.
(Spring 2010)
The best part for her was the ribbon gift....  I found a gymnastics ribbon for her to dance with that she absolutely adores.  We stayed up late watching you tube clips of Anna Bessanova and May was sky high with starry eyes and twinkle toes... (I woke up the next morning to her standing on the couch performing for the boys who were sitting on the floor, wrapped up together in a blanket and totally enthralled with this ribbon beauty...)  We're so glad to get to mark this big step with such joy for her.  It has been a hard step for her (especially at nap times when she's had a few times crying that she doesn't want to go to sleep even when she's clearly wasted tired) but she's done it and we are so glad, so proud!  

It's been a bit of an adjustment for all of us because, just like I expected, she didn't sleep at all in the afternoon several days this week (not all bad:  longer afternoon, more reading lessons, much quicker bedtime).  It also means we have a resident dental advisor now.  She checked her own teeth in the mirror noticed a space between her teeth.... we're keeping our eyes on it.  And she warned her brother at the table, "if you suck on that (he slipped a toy in his mouth for a second) you're going to have wolf teeth. " 


  1. So glad I saw this post of yours... all four of mine suck their thumbs (I didn't quit til I was 9) and my 4 year old daughter also sucks on her blankie. I just showed her those teeth and she said she was going to quit today. She also loves the ribbon dancing! Thanks for the ideas!

  2. I am so happy for you Jill and so proud of that little girl. She is such a joy to us. Tell her Yeye and NaiNai have sent fruit snacks and give her some extra my little pony ones from us. Love to all