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Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Stress of a 6 Year Old Thumbsucker


All week long Lindsey stressed over her first overnight. When Lindsey was in stress mode, she paced.

Her friend, Kari, had asked her to spend the night and she really really wanted to go, but she was terrified of getting caught. Pace. Pace. Pace.

"Mom," she finally lamented, "I really want to spend the night at Kari's house, but I don't want her to see me suck my thumb."

"Yes," I empathized, "It's going to be a problem."

I had fallen instantly in love with Kari from the moment I met her. She was the type of friend I would have chosen for Lindsey if Lindsey hadn't chosen her herself.

For several days Lindsey tried unsuccessfully to rid herself of her thumb-sucking habit. Nothing worked.

The day was getting closer and closer, and Lindsey was getting more and more stressed. At the end of the week she lost the battle of the thumb and realized she had to come clean with Kari.

While they were riding their bikes the weekend of the overnight, Lindsey hesitantly told Kari, "I have something to tell you."

Lindsey was shaking, she was so nervous, but she blurted it out, worried the whole time about how Kari would respond.

"I suck my thumb."

There! She said it. And as soon as she said it she waited for the humiliation to set in and the reprimand to begin. She waited for Kari to tell her she had to go home, that she didn't want a thumbsucker in her home. She was ready to hear her friend tell her she was too old to suck her thumb and to just stop.

But as Kari zoomed ahead of Lindsey on her bicycle, she called out, "That's OK. I wet the bed."

After all these years, I still love Kari!

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