Miriam is a great sleeper. She’s recently taken to sitting up and rather enjoys being propped up in the corner of the couch where she can sit up and watch what’s going on. She finds it thrilling. Leave her there too long, though, and her head starts to droop a little and then her breathing gets deeper and deeper until her whole body is bobbing up and down with each breath and she rocks herself to sleep.
I think it’s wonderful that Miriam can put herself to sleep, especially when it’s eleven o’clock at night and I can still hear Rachel kicking around in her bed. *sigh*
Last night Miriam discovered another way to lull herself to sleep. As if she knew it was something forbidden, something addictive, something to hide, we found her with both hands covering her face.
The *suck, suck, suck* sound kind of gave her away, though. We peeled back one of those little hands and found this:
Miriam is a baby who loves to suck. She sucks on fingers, she sucks on soothers, she sucks on blankets and shoulders and hair and fists. She sucks on anything that gets within lunging range of her mouth. She always has her hands up in her face—even in the womb we couldn’t get a good shot of her face in any ultrasound pictures because her hands were always in the way—so we knew it was only a matter of time before she found her thumb.
And she loves it.
Since she still isn’t quite sure how to control her flailing limbs, she kind of guides one hand to her mouth with the other hand and then holds onto it, tightly, so that her thumb doesn’t accidentally fly out of her mouth and poke her in the eye or anything like that (as her hands are prone to do).
Last night I thought that it was, perhaps, a fluke—perhaps she accidentally found it and was just sucking on it because it happened to be in her mouth—but she found it again this morning and looked pretty pleased with herself for doing so.
Right now it’s kind of cute and, truthfully, helpful. But how will I feel about this thumb-sucking thing in two years? Three years? Four? Five? Six?
How long will she suck if we let her continue? Should we let her continue? Why would I want to keep her from soothing herself when having a baby who soothes itself is such a wonderful blessing? Why is parenting so hard? Why don’t these things come with manuals?!