This blog is somewhat of a flashback, but I was reminded of this incident yesterday.
A few months ago, when Christina was just breaking her thumb sucking habit, she was an emotional wreck. Apparently, thumb sucking was her main coping mechanism. She was a real *joy* that first week.
Well, one day that week Christina, Isaiah and I were hanging out in my bedroom. They were playing together and I was folding clothes. Isaiah (about 7 months old at the time) grabbed Christina’s hair and yanked it. Now, I’m sure what happened next had to be an impulsive reaction–Christina reached over and yanked his hair back.
Isaiah started screaming. I looked at Christina, “What did you do that for?”
“He pulled my hair first.” She said it as matter-of-fact as possible.
This is one of those moments when I really want to say something really sarcastic, but I know that by doing so I might cause my child emotional harm and I’ll hear stories for the rest of her life about having to go to a therapist, so I bit my tongue. All I said was, “He’s just a baby. He doesn’t know that he pulled your hair.”
Cue watery eyes. I think she thought about what she did. Then she looked at her brother, who was still screaming as I cuddled him. All of the sudden, the most blood-curdling wail came from her mouth. She proceeded to throw the most dramatic crying fit ever.
I am not kidding–Christina threw herself from the bed to the floor and started the biggest temper tantrum/crying fit since she was 2 years old. I was speechless. I mean, she literally hadn’t had a temper tantrum in about 3 years, and I was watching her throw one on my bedroom floor. It was so dramatic that Isaiah stopped crying and looked down to watch it. After about a minute she took her thumb and started rubbing it on her cheek. It seemed to calm her down a little bit.
At that point I knew that we were going to have to work on learning some coping mechanisms. During that long month she spent a lot of time to herself trying to find new ways to deal with issues. I had no idea that thumb sucking was such a crutch. (I’ve been lucky enough to only have 1 thumb sucker out of my 4 kids.)
She managed to survive the month thumb free, but now she’s starting to revert 2 months later. I think I need to find a more effective substitute for thumb sucking. If you have any ideas, please let me know! I really don’t want to deal with that drama again.