Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Socks - you thought they were just for feet!

I knew there'd be trouble if I started a blog. I've had a lot of nice comments about my entries being funny, humorous, a delight to read, etc. How can I let you all down gently (yes...all 3 of you!) and let you know that after 4 entries I seem to have exhausted my sarcastic sense of humour. Sure, funny things happen here and there but I guess I've raised the bar a bit and a little blurb about one of the kids going to bed with socks on their hands just isn't going to cut it anymore.

So I could talk about the the time when...

Well...I guess the sock story will have to suffice.

A little history... I've always hated soothers, pacifiers, sissies, and the politically incorrect but very popular in Newfoundland, dumb tit! I swore I would never have a 4 year old wearing a soother tied on a string around her neck. Instead, I had a week old, screaming baby. Desperate for a reprieve, I threw all the neatly boxed baby gifts out of the closet in search of a soother that I remembered had been given to us as part of a shower gift. I stuck it in Allie's mouth and there it pretty much stayed for 2 and a 1/2 years (except for every morning at about 2 am when it would need to be popped back in, or when we were at the mall and it would fall onto the floor a dozen times requiring me to lick off all the crud before popping it back in her mouth - we soon got smart and bought one of those clip on straps and I no longer had to lick mall crud!) By 2 and a 1/2 I was ready to separate Allie from her most prized possession. One by one all of her soosies got lost - all 5 of them (new parents take note - any item that your child treasures, get at least 2 of them - shelling out the extra dough will save you hours of grief and lost sleep when you child loses Binky or Poppy or whatever the treasured possession's name is.) Even at 4, if we went to the Co-Op she would comment that this is where "Pink soosie" got lost, or how "Baby soosie" met its demise at the mall. Do you suppose she'll need some psychological counselling later on?

So, isn't Allie who has gone to bed with socks on her hands

Erin, 6, sucks her thumb. When she was weeks old and the thumb first found it's way into her mouth it was just sooooooo cute. Unlike her big sister, Erin would go to bed at night and sleep 12 hours. We loved that thumb! Can I just say that again? We LOVED that thumb! Now that we are looking at major orthodontic work the cute factor has worn off and we are long past the night time wakings of babies and toddlers. The Children's Aid people kind of frown on thumb amputation as a solution to thumb sucking so we've resorted to bribery. If she is successful in keeping her thumb out of her mouth there will be a new Webkin's animal taking up residence in our house. I know, I know - bribery is not a really good solution. But the Webkin only costs $14 while orthodontics is...well, just slightly more! And besides when I bribed her with a Littlest Pet Shop toy if she would get in the pool for swimming lessons it worked. The first lesson she wouldn't even put her toe in the water and after the bribe you would swear her mother was a mermaid (and no, I don't have a seashell bra!)

During the day she has been kept pretty busy so I'm not sure if she even thinks about putting her thumb in. Besides, her older sister (pretending to be helpful but really just tattling) lets it be known as soon as that thumb starts heading north. Nighttime of course is a different story. It's kind of a conditioned response - eyes close and thumb goes in. Hence the socks. First we just put the sock on her left hand where her thumb of choice has been known to blister from so much sucking. She has become less discriminatory and now will suck her right thumb too so she now has socks on both hands. I know there is bitter tasting nail polish that can help keep fingers out of mouths but being a nail biter and reformed finger sucker myself, I can say with certainty that you can get used to the taste after a while. I know, some of you are going to run right out to buy it and see just how long it takes to develop a taste for this stuff, but trust me on this one!

So, the socks are working out. At least she isn't sucking at night. However, I do find the sock method somewhat lacking in its ability to aid in the reversal of orthodontic issues. Looks like those teeth will likely need some big-bucks braces after all.

Anyone interested in investing in my new product? I'm thinking a cute name like "Thumb-B-Gone", thumb covers (aka socks) in a variety of colours and prints to match any pyjamas or bedroom decor. We currently use packing tape to hold the sock on but the new design will use velcro. Of course I'd sell them in pairs for those kids that couldn't care less what thumb or finger was in their mouths. And all for the very reasonable price of $9.99. After all you wouldn't want to put just a regular sock on your child's hand, would you? At that price I should be able to cover orthodontics and university tuition. Of course Dan once thought he was going to make a mint on something he invented...until he went to Zellers and bought the item in question for $4. And don't tell me that people won't pay $10 for a pair of socks. Sure they will - you can sell anything on a TV infomercial. People buy things like the clapper, Ginsu knives that can cut through tin cans (cuz I know I quite often have the need to cut through tin cans), and the ever popular pocket fisherman - the fishing rod that folds up to fit in your pocket - just in case you feel the need to go fishing on your lunch hour (I've always wondered though, just where do they keep the bait?)

Sorry for the delay in posting this blog entry. But I thought I would report in after our dentist appointment yesterday. Seems everyone is brushing well and our non-existent flossing routine has not caused any damage - yet. Erin told the hygienist that she brushes 3 times a day - that would occur only under great duress or after the consumption of massive quantities of gummie worms. The dentist seemed pleased with our sock on the hand method but I could see that glint in his eye and just know that he was rushing home to patent my idea - like he needs more money after what I shelled out yesterday! So, Erin is doing well and we hope that her new front teeth (she has one lost and the other dangling) will come in at a better angle.

Allie on the other hand has an issue - she has an improper tongue thrust. Ever hear of that? I'm not so sure it isn't a conspiracy between the dentist and the orthodontist. Essentially, when she swallows, her tongue pushes out against her teeth instead of pushing up against the roof of her mouth, resulting in her front teeth being pushed out. If she corrects the thrust it will definitely help, although I'm pretty sure 98% of kids are wearing braces now anyway (see the afore mentioned conspiracy.) Furthermore, if this thrust is not corrected, and she does wear braces, once the braces are removed her tongue thrust will just displace the teeth again. So, option one is tongue amputation but again, this method lost its appeal back in the 60s - you know, that whole human rights issue, free speech, etc. I thought about redesigning the thumb covers into a tongue cover, but really, how would you like to have a sock wadded into your mouth all night? The dentist suggests chewing gum (sugarless, of course) and flattening it out on the roof of your mouth to train your tongue to stay up there. The other option is to let her use a soother to retrain her tongue - No, not really, I'm just joking but wouldn't that be too ironic?

So now, not only do I have to re-invent socks into thumb-sucker eliminators but I also have to re-invent gum into tongue thrust repositioners - a mother's work is never done!


TBryn said...

Denise, you are hilarious!!! I had issues sucking my thumb as a child and my parents took me to the dentist and he put some weird apparatice that hung down that stopped my thumb from going in, however, it also stopped other things, such as food, in particular, peanut butter, which at the time was my favorite! However, this did not work as I would suck the tip of my thumb instead. And once they removed it I was back at it again! lol!

barb said...

Hey Denise, another great post. You know, I usually don't have the patience to read LONG posts, typed in teeny fonts, with hardly any pictures thrown in... but hey, you're FUNNY. I strained my eyes and craned my neck forward (my PT and RMT would soooooo be kicking my butt right now...) and read every word. lol

Yah, you're funny. :P

I hope everything works out for you in the orthodontics department. Otherwise, I'll see YOU in the waiting room. Because it's quite obvious to me that child #1 at my house... kid with beautiful, straight, perfectly aligned primary teeth... which were all still touching one another before the first baby tooth fell out... HIS jaw is just too small to hold all the adult teeth coming in. So unless he experiences some sort of freakish growth spurt in his mouth/jaw area, he will need braces. Ugh!

nathalie (brn2scrp) said...

ROFLOL - great read. My dh would totally agree with your dentist conspiracy theory!! Tongue thrust??? Whatever did we do before dentists discovered that this was actually a problem?? All I can say is, thank God for dental plans. (I have one kid in braces and the other one will need them too).

Nathalie (famille1999) said...

Looks like you've had another hit with this post! LOL

I was lucky that neither girls used either a pacifier nor their thumbs (we didn't get much sleep though but that's another story! LOL).

But we are still looking forward some orthodontic works for our oldest dd. :S Some of her front teeths are coming out crooked and she is actually missing one adult molar... so after the baby one is gone she'll have a gap that will need to be fixed when she's older. Meanwhile, brace city here we come! *sigh* Maybe I should patent your sock idea in Qc??? I know I'll need the money too. ;)

As for the gum in the roof of the mouth thing, I've heard about this before and it looks like it really works. What they were using though were sugarless candies that the person needed to keep at the roof of their mouth. They didn't say how long it took though for the bad habit to be corrected.