No Thank You, I’d Rather Have Thumb


Let me begin by saying… I am not in favor of fostering pacifier dependency. That said, when baby D is inconsolable giving him the pacifier helps both of us not cry. Totally hypocritical, I know. Today he was fighting sleep– very tired but not allowing himself to close his eyes. In this state he is cranky and there is nothing that will relax him. Nothing, that is, except the pacifier. Usually. Today, though, he did something different. When I offered the pacifier he pushed it away forcefully. Then he began trying to get his thumb to his mouth. He put the thumb to his eye, his nose, the side of his face, his ear. He got it to his mouth and licked it. He just couldn’t quite work out how to get it in his mouth consistently. Then he began to bring his thumb to his mouth and move it away over and over again. He became still and quiet except for the task of moving his thumb– sometimes successfully, sometimes not– to his mouth. I watched him do this for a little while, then I realized I was observing him at his work! I do not know if Montessori approved of thumb sucking, but I do know that baby D entered a serious, focused, quiet-alert state while he worked on this motor control activity. This is the first time I have observed “the child at work”. It was very exciting!

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