She started around eight or nine weeks old. We were in Florida for Christmas when she discovered that with a little maneuvering of her tiny, already-impossibly-pudgy hands, she could prop her thumb in her mouth. We called her Little Squeak for the soft sweet sucking noises she made. (And one time I awoke convinced there was a mouse in her bedroom.) She has fallen asleep that way ever since.
Until this week.
I have been hinting over the last year or so that now that she's getting to be such a big girl, it's time to start thinking about kicking the habit. She had never really warmed to the idea. Then, the other day, I mentioned that now that she was getting her adult teeth, sucking her thumb might cause them to poke out a little. I swear, I was not in the least bit dramatic. But apparently that appeal to her vanity was all it took. That night, while "sleeping with her just a minute" (a nightly ritual) she quietly slipped her left hand in mine and asked me to hold it for a little while so she wouldn't suck her thumb. And as we lay there in the dark, I caressed the back of her small-but-not-so-tiny-anymore hand and cried.
I have to hand it to her, the girl has a will of iron. Over the next few days, every time she caught her thumb wandering toward her mouth, she would immediately pull it away. And then it was over, just like that. Easy, no big deal. For her at least. I am still in mourning.