Monday, February 8, 2010

50 Ways to Break a Habit

Our Saturday morning ritual includes a visit to the library. The Georgetown branch has a section downstairs dedicated to children, including two guinea pigs named Beezus and Ramona. Our visit isn't complete without a brief stop by their cage to say "hello" and offer a few sprigs of lettuce or some quarters to help the library pay for their care.

This week, in addition to letting the kids pick out a few books they found interesting, I went looking for stories I could read to one of my daycare kids who has parents in the midst of a separation and another book on honesty to curb another child's habit of misspeaking the truth. During my search in this section, I found a book entitled "50 Ways to Break a Habit." Ty and Erin both continue to suck their thumb so I thought this book might offer useful advice to get them to stop.

I was delighted when I saw in the table of contents an entire chapter dedicated to ending the habit of thumb sucking and eagerly turned to the indicated page. Paragraph number 2 offers this advice:

"Tape a Popsicle stick to the inside of their elbow so their hands cannot get anywhere near their mouth."

Wait ..... What?

I didn't check the published date, but I suspect it wasn't current.

I admit, I'm not a perfect parent and have quite possibly, in their almost 4 years, committed at least one act or another that will come up in therapy later, but tape a Popsicle stick to their elbow?!? Hell, I'm up for an award for denying them this piece of torture. Why not just rack them? Or tie them to a chair and dunk them mercilessly in Lake Ontario? Or hell, spare the hassle of constructing an ingenious instrument of malice and just haul out the Wilshires for a speedy thumb-ectomy.

I have a great idea where to tape a Popsicle stick! Perhaps the book was misfiled from it's intended location "Cruel and Unusual."

All sticks of Popsicle origin and otherwise shall remain the tools of whimsical creations. I'm even less concerned now than I was about a little soporific thumb sucking. In fact, I give thumb sucking the thumbs up!