Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A mother interferes with her daughter's love life

When my daughter was born I was amazed at her beautiful round cheeked perfection.

She had a shock of black hair that was velvety soft to the touch.

We were cosseted and loved on by our boys and existed in a euphorically hazy bubble of cute baby induced hormones. 

I couldn't have loved her more.

I thought she felt the same.

That is until I was introduced to her real love.  Her true love.  The one she would never be parted from.  The one that could bring her comfort at any time any place. 

Her Thumb.

I guess I should feel somewhat glad that I was at least there for the introduction.

It was a beautiful fall day, she sat in her swing at my office and I cooed at her as she fussed and tried to settle down before a nap.  
I offered her a pacifier that she wanted nothing to do with.  
Knowing she was fed and changed and simply sleepy a gave her a moment to wind down.  
She turned her head left and then right and then left again.  
She waved her chubby baby fists in the air working to make contact with them.

And then she did.

She socked herself in the tiny face with her tiny fist.  

Her lips parted on a cry and her fist landed in her mouth.

Her fingers loosened and her thumb nestled into the tiny center of her orally fixated universe.

She went silent almost in surprise, her body stilled and then went limp.   
Her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell into a deep sleep.

I'll admit it was nice not having to find a pacifier, 
worry about losing a pacifier 
or ultimately playing pacifier fairy when I was done with the prior. 

What wasn't nice were the germs.  
Oh the places that tiny mobile babies put their fingers...
Oh the places that toddlers with big brothers put their fingers.  

None of which would have been so cringeworthy if she didn't 
then promptly pop said fingers into her mouth.   

However, there is something to be said for mass germ exposure at an early age.  
Miss Thing is a robust girl and doesn't get sick often, but still.  


When she turned 3 (the same age that the pacifier fairy visited Super Son) we began to in earnest discuss when you can suck your thumb (at bedtime), 
where you can suck your thumb (in your room).  

I might have been more successful trying to convince my chickens to snuggle up with Eli to nap.  

She had absolutely no interest in stopping.

We had brief encounters with nail polishes that taste horrible
 (which will burn when you get them in your eyes and make anything you eat taste awful for hours),
(easily removed for a child with good dexterity),
fancy nail polishes that you don't want to come off
(which is what happens when you suck your thumb)
and chewing gum.

We have reminded her, ignored it, begged her, enticed and cajoled all to no effect.

Everyone tells me that she won't go to college sucking her thumb, so don't worry.  

Which helped until I met a lady who commented on my lovely daughter 
and how she too had sucked her thumb as a child.  
When I shared my "won't do it in college" mantra flippantly the woman smiled at me and said

"Oh, but I did.  I finally stopped a year ago"  

The woman was probably in her late 20's.  

Now that I think of it, that is when I developed that pesky tic over my left eye. 

So this week I decided to give up. 

 I told Miss Thing that she could suck her thumb all she wanted for the next 2 weeks, but would be stopping forever after that.   

She was ecstatic.  

I'm pretty sure she only listened to the "You can suck your thumb all you want" part.

A visit with our friendly dentist this week confirmed that Miss Things teeth are starting to show the effects and shifting of being a Thumbsucker.  

Why 2 weeks?

That's how long it takes for the mouth guard the dentist is making for her to arrive.  

The general opinion is that with the appliance in place it will take a month or two, but by the end of Summer the nearly 6 year long love affair with her digit should be over.

We feel good in our decision, but you will have to excuse me if I flagellate myself periodically. 

It's a mother's job to fret and worry if she is doing the right thing.  

Worst case scenario I feel comfortable with the knowledge that all of the wonderful and inspiring people I know as adults were damaged in some way during childhood by their parents.

I would be an awful parent if I didn't want her to be wonderful or inspiring.  Right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Take a guess

Take a guess what I did for Hero Husband this Father's Day
that got this reaction from my girlfriends.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beyond Batten

My friends are hardcore.  I just can't take them anywhere without the awesome just taking over. 

Most recently they formed a team to raise money 
for a little girl named Christiane who is very sick and run a race.
Of course they don't just run a little race.  

Not my friends.  

They run from Mount Bonnell to Enchanted Rock.  

Yeah people thats like 96 miles.

So when running 96 miles you would plan a pretty flat course and make it nice and manageable right?

Nope, not my posse.

My friends sign up for a race where each of them will run at least twice during the 14 hour trek through the night all across the wilds of the Texas Hill Country.  Anywhere from 5 to 10 miles each leg.

I know this ain't Colorado folks, but they call it the Hill Country for a reason.

Paige had the first leg of the race basically running vertically up the steepest hills in Austin.

As she got close to the 2nd leg handoff the energy was buzzing and everyone was so excited that they jumped out of the RV and ran her in.

The RV part is where I came in.  

As you know I don't run.  With friends athletically gifted as mine I am so lucky that they continually find fun ways for me to help and participate.

This time I was dubbed the driver of the 28 foot RV that they rented to carry the runners in stretched out, napping comfort through the night. 

I referred to it affectionately as the Swagga' Waggon

It was even decorated.

The race started at 5pm (the hottest part of the day in Central Texas) and the first leg was the hardest of them.   
I was not surprised when Paige finished the beast of a hill and took a detour into the sprinklers in a nearby yard.

Then Cooch was up for the first of her legs of the race.

That's the Pennybacker Bridge in the background.

Did I mention that everyone on the team was running at least 2 legs.

That means that Paige who ran up that wicked hill in the first leg at 5pm would also be running another 6 miles sometime around 3am.

There was nothing that could keep these girls down

they just kept running

cheering each other on

and thinking of Charlotte, Christiane's Mom, who we cheered for 
as we passed while she ran through the night.

Our team was called Team 2C57

It stands for the 2nd Book of Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7

For we live by faith, not by sight

Batten Disease is robbing the young Christiane of her sight.

Running a race of this length with this many teams (25) and this many runners (250) means you have to be looking out.  

There are runners on the road people.

As the night wore on we all looked forward to the shining light of the transition points.  

Where we would pick up one runner and drop off another

We all got a bit punchy as the night wore on.

The full moon made the night running surprisingly peaceful.  

At least that's what my friends tell me.

And as the sun rose over Enchanted Rock Christiane's elementary school teacher (who was on our team) ran in the last leg, which was her 3rd of the race. 

It was a glorious sunrise that I got to watch with an amazing group of women working together for an amazing cause.

I didn't get a picture of it cause I was driving.

Sorry, you'll just have to take my word for it.

There was a great gospel band that serenaded us through breakfast before we packed up and headed home.

It took us 14 hours to drive the 96 miles.

It didn't take as long to get home afterwards.

I can't remember the last time that I was so tired and happy all rolled up in one.

I can't wait until next year.