Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unbecoming the baby

I'm not sure Miriam's ready to give up being the baby but that's alright because she has a few months left of it. My mom asked her once what she was going to do once her mommy had a new baby—at the time, Miriam was cuddled in my arms (as she often is).

"Oh, just keep it in my Mommy's tummy," she said.

A few days later my mom asked her the same question. This time she had a better answer (in my opinion).

"Me share with it!" she said happily.

Miriam's so tiny and cuddly that it's going to be hard giving her up as my baby, but there are a few habits we've been changing and that've been helping her to grow up. One of her most annoying habits (that we've been working on breaking) is her desire to cuddle...cleavage. Her fascination started after I weaned her in...July? August? I can't remember when we finally ended it but once she understood that it was over she decided that just because she no longer got milk it didn't mean that she shouldn't get access.

She'd cuddle on my lap, suck her thumb, and stick her hand down my shirt.

I'd pull her hand out.

She'd stick her hand down.

I'd pull her hand out.

She'd stick her hand down.

It was a constant battle and she had many excuses about why she should be allowed to do it.

"But me sad!"

"Not my ear is working!"

"Not me feel good!"

Anything to get me to cave.

It was a very annoying problem. I tried to convince her to seek comfort in other ways—she could hold my neck (that's what my mom eventually trained my little brother to do) or stroke my cheek or...whatever...just...come on!

Right around Christmas we took a turn for the worse when she figured out that ALL FEMALES HAVE THEM!

Karen's sister Linda came over to stay right around finals week. She picked Miriam up, Miriam's hand shot down the front of her shirt.

We went to Reid and Karen's BYU ward Christmas dinner and Miriam went around busily sticking her hand down the shirt of every girl who dared to hold her!

The world was her oyster. And it was beginning to be a very serious and embarrassing problem.

We've worked on it and worked on it and worked on it and we're finally able to control it a bit better. Now instead of putting her hand down the front of my shirt she puts her hand up my shirtsleeves—anything to get at some unexposed and "off limits" skin. Going up my shirtsleeves is much better than plunging down my neckline, though, I think.

Shortly after my grandpa's funeral in December, Miriam was rubbing my legs (up my pantlegs) when she announced in a hushed tone, "Know what, Mom? Once 'pon a time...I touched a dead body."

I was a little shocked to hear that come out of my two-year-old's mouth and I, frankly, have no idea if it's true or not. I was not always the one toting her around at the viewing and it's possible...that if she went up with some cousins...I don't know. But it was still a little shocking...and kind of creepy...especially since she thought to tell me that as she was stroking my legs.

One of the side effects of our no-cleavage training has been that Miriam has started sucking both of her thumbs. She still favours the left but will switch sides in order to minimize chapping and to better facilitate ear pulling. She used to do this funny cross-over thing where she'd stick her right arm under her left arm (the thumb of which was in her mouth) so that she could pull her left ear when her right ear would "stop working." Now, though, she'll suddenly stop sucking and pulling and will switch, so she'll be sucking the opposite thumb and pulling the opposite ear. Right, left, right, left. It's kind of funny.

Hopefully it's a habit she'll give up without a fight but after working so hard to eliminate some of her other bad habits, I'm not so sure she will give it up willingly. We've joked about cutting off her thumbs a bit at a time until there's nothing left to suck on (you know, like they do with soothers...or binkies (if you're from Utah)). You should have seen her panic!

Mind you, we were only joking about that method.

I'm not too worried about it yet but once we start thinking about kindergarten for her she'll have to quit. Fortunately for her that's years off.


  1. Noel has some same habits. She prefers sleeves but will go after cleavage too. Up skirts too. I have to ask her in Sacrament Meeting to keep me modest. So she puts her other hand on top of my skirt on my knee - which is only sometime sufficient. Most of it doesn't bother me. It is funny though when we are snuggling her and she tells us something felt awkward - which is what I tell her if she touches part of me that's not for her to touch.

  2. Hahaha, I laughed my way through this post. BTW, I haven't met anyone in the States who calls them soothers--it's always binkies or Pacis (Pacifiers). I always thought it was Canadian? And it's funny because I just read in the BYU alumni magazine about Utah getting the bad repreputation for all sorts of speech things (I'm tired so I can't think of a better word!) when they really happen all over. (Okay, was that pertinent? Off to bed! :)