Wednesday, May 21, 2014

my little thumbsucker

At some point within the next few months, it appears all three of the triplets will be in braces.  The whole braces "situation" is a post in and of itself ... including how we've visited six orthodontists for their extremely varied opinions and have debated whether we even need this first phase of braces at all.   Now that we're on the threshold of making what appears to be a commitment to the first phase of braces, which are required to make room in tiny mouths for big denticles, we've been told that Elizabeth, who is an avid thumbsucker, will need to cease sucking her thumb, immediately.

And while YES, I recognize that sucking a thumb somewhat defeats the purpose of braces, I don't want to push my daughter in to giving up her thumb sucking until she is ready.  I'm adamant about this because I, too, was an avid thumbsucker and I distinctly remember how much comfort my left thumb gave me. I also remember people suggesting various tricks like bitter apple, or a glove, to deter me from sucking my thumb and although I tried all the tricks - nothing worked.   Eventually, I got to a point ~ at approximately the age of 13 ~ when on my own terms I didn't feel the need to suck my thumb anymore and I gave it up.  And the braces that I'd been in since I was 11, remained on my teeth until I was 15 and my teeth came out great.  Even despite my thumb sucking, ha!

So whenever we go visit dentists or orthodontists, and they vehemently tell Elizabeth she MUST stop sucking her thumb or her teeth will be ruined forever, and they'll tempt her with gifts if she's able to quit; or threaten her with gear that will be fitted across her palate so she physically can't suck her thumb anymore, I'll always give her a wink that says, "Don't you worry, Sweetie. You can suck your thumb for as long as you want and I promise, your teeth will still be beautiful."

Now...  while I clearly support Elizabeth's choice to suck her thumb; I do not support that she sucks her thumb all the live long day.   And what I've noticed is that whenever Elizabeth has Bunny in hand, the other hand is in her mouth.  So my rule to try and limit the amount of thumb sucking, is that Elizabeth can have Bunny only at night when she goes to sleep.  Each morning, Bunny is hidden somewhere so she is not tempted. Seems easy enough, right?

As it turns out, Elizabeth doesn't much care for my totally lame 'No Bunny During the Day' rule and frequently breaks it.  As soon as she walks in the door from school, she'll throw her backpack down and set off like a rabid bloodhound to discover where we hid Bunny and if she finds Bunny, she'll suck her thumb like a crazed addict.  One day last week, after witnessing this maniacal behavior when she was so distracted sucking her thumb that she was totally oblivious to the world around her, I decided to take Bunny with me on a business trip to Houston.  It would be an overnight Adventure for Bunny, and a brief thumb sucking reprieve for Elizabeth.

Just before I walked out the door to the airport, I slipped a briefly unattended Bunny in to my backpack and snapped a picture.  Then once my car arrived, I took another picture of Bunny, with every intention to e-mail them to Charlie and Elizabeth.  Alas, before I had a chance to send the message, I received a text from Charlie, who was anxiously inquiring if I had Bunny?


"Yes," I told him. "Bunny is safe with me and we're going on an ADVENTURE!"

This news was not greeted with the excitement I'd been expecting.  So over the next day, I snapped off a load of pictures to show Elizabeth just how much "fun" Bunny was having with me.

Because I'm crazy fun and do wild things like check myself in at the airport! 

Here we are on our way through security ... P-U!  What is that smell, Bunny?

Bunny waiting for the terminal train.

Bunny on the moving sidewalk.

We stopped to get dinner, and although Bunny told me he'd pick up the tab, he forgot his wallet.

Sneaky Bunny!

Uh, where are we going again?

We're on board! Although, why do the wings turn up like that?


Did you pack a parachute?! 

Parachute, Smarachute!

They've got The LEGO Movie?!

Please, oh please oh please oh please oh please?!

After a one-hour delay, the plane took off and we flew somewhere, over the rainbow.

And through some huge clouds.

Bunny enjoyed a light beverage.

And then a few hours later, we landed in a stormy Houston.

Welcome to Houston, Bunny!

We rode the bus to the rental car terminal.

And then Bunny helped me navigate to our destination.

We checked in to our hotel.

And Bunny made a quick bio-break.


The next morning, Bunny was up with the sun to take a shower.

Bunny styled his fur.

And checked out his Do...

Before trying to call Elizabeth at home.

I attended my meeting while Bunny slept in my bag. And 24 hours after we'd arrived, just as we were preparing to leave Houston and fly back home, I received notice that our flight was delayed.

Then it was delayed again.

And again. 

Before I received confirmation that our flight had been canceled. And our new flight wouldn't depart until the next afternoon.  Mad scrambling ensued, that included calls to Emergency Travel Agents who were able to put us on a flight that would arrive in Maryland at 1:00 AM, because Bunny had somewhere to be. 

We had a few minutes once we arrived at the airport for dinner, so Bunny and I split a chicken burrito and cerveza.  (That was our plane in the background....)

We safely arrived home at nearly 3 AM and Bunny was tucked in to bed with a sleeping Elizabeth.  All was once again well in the land of Elizabunny.

Fast forward exactly one week. 

Yesterday, on the way to Girl Scouts, Elizabeth took a bad header down the stairs. She had been running, but tried to abruptly stop because she thought she saw a caterpillar and was afraid she would squash it. As a result of her compassionate behavior and subsequent fall, she badly scraped her elbow, knee, and hip.  We learned today, that she also fractured her left wrist.

The left wrist that is attached to the most magnificent left sucking thumb.  Elizabeth has an appointment tomorrow morning with an orthopedist, at which time I suspect she'll be fitted for a cast and whether or not she'll be able to continue sucking her thumb remains to be seen.

While I recognize this is potentially a very good opportunity for her to give up the thumb sucking habit,  I know that if there was ever a time in life when my sweet girl needed the comfort of her thumb, this would have to be it.