Friday, June 27, 2008

Scattered

Scattered is a good way to describe my thought processes (or lack thereof) today. I had very little sleep last night and today will prove busy, with a French test in the a.m. and an afternoon to be devoted to wading through the 150+ CVs received for an English Scientific Editor job competition.

Yesterday, Leah had a dental appliance put in to curb her thumb-sucking. She's tried valiantly to stop on her own, but like smoking, it's a hard habit to overcome. I just wish there was a patch for her to wear, because looking at her tear-stained face last night was almost too much to bear. Positive reinforcement, rewards, bad-tasting stuff, all were overcome by her compulsion.

Night time was the worst. I took the girls to see Kung Fu Panda yesterday evening in an attempt to take Leah's mind off her mouth. It seemed to work until bedtime. And then it all became clear -- how was she going to get to sleep? All her life, she's lulled herself to sleep (and she always drops off within 5 minutes of lying down) by sucking her thumb. It wasn't easy. She tried sleeping in her bed, and couldn't. She climbed into my bed and tried to sleep. I rubbed her back. No good. More tears. I told her she could read for a bit until she got sleepy. Nope, Lemony Snicket just provoked more overtired tears. I finally put a movie on (after telling her it was a one-time deal) around 11:30 and I dropped off to sleep beside her. I woke up a half hour or so later, halfway through "Spirited Away", and she was finally asleep. I'm hoping that the first night was the worst and that it'll get better from here on out.

I really didn't want to go this way, but the thumb sucking was exacerbating an already narrow jaw that will need orothodontia, which can't start until the habit is broken. A bad Catch-22 situation evolved in that she has lost her upper front teeth and the appliance will be visible until the permanent teeth descend. But the thumb sucking is stopping the teeth from growing in, so we had to put the appliance in in order to help the teeth come in. At least I was able to postpone it until school was out. That's a small mercy, but at least she isn't worried about being at school wearing it.

This morning I told her that last night was probably the worst, and that things will get easier as she learns to find other ways to fall asleep, and she was in a pretty cheerful mood. I hope that the half pot of coffee I drank can get me through to tonight, when we'll have to deal with it again. Wish me luck.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, poor Leah. I hope tonight goes better.

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  2. Poor Leah, I hope tonight goes smoother. I also hope this isn't something I'll have to deal with Layla in the future since she sucks her thumb.

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  3. Poor thing! Here's hoping tonight will be better!

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  4. Poor kid. Good luck to her and to you...hopefully tonight will be easier.

    Nicky didn't give up his paci's until he was 3, and the first night was, by far, the worst. He'd never slept without it before, and our experience was similar to what you described. But it got dramatically better every night thereafter.

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  5. poor kid. It's hard to kick in grained habits like that. I hope it gets easier for you both.

    I hate reading CVs. I really do. You know you're missing some perfectly reasonable candidates out of some stupid criteria. Good luck with that.

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  6. Oh, that's so sad and frustrating. I hope she finds a way to comfort herself without the sucking. Good luck.

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  7. Oh no... ! I hope it gets easier for you all soon.

    Emma sucked her fingers (two on her right hand) for ages. I think she quit around the age of 5 or 6 when she realized she couldn't hold a book and suck her fingers at the same time.

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  8. Poor Leah. Now that it has been a few days, how's it going with getting to sleep?

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  9. Oh poor Leah! How's she doing now?

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  10. oh, that is so tough. edie, at 3 1/2, still uses a soother at bedtime. i just know i'll be feeling your angst very shortly. i hope she is doing better!

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