Monday, August 4, 2008

Thumb Sucking

DD is a chronic thumb sucker. I’m having issues with this. First of all, I’ll admit it. This is the least of my issues with the situation and it’s a horrible thing to say but….it’s making her look different and that bugs me for some reason. I perceive some sort of "judgment" of me through DD's appearance and actions. It's wrong, I know and it's setting her up to carry this "perfection" complex that I have. I'm working on it....I'm working on it. She has a massive overbite now. Her teeth don’t touch in front. When she smiles, you almost can’t see her front teeth. It’s changing the shape of her jaw and the appearance of her face. In fact, I think it’s making her look more like her father. And who wants that??

Which brings me to issue #2. At the dentist on Saturday, the Dr said that her overbite was very advanced and he guessed that she has a genetic predisposition to an overbite. I thought about my family and I said no, I didn’t think so. He asked about her father’s side of the family. Not wanting to go into the whole story, I simply said “Not that I know of.” I hate that such a simple question is so loaded. I hate that I don’t know half of her genetic history. Before she was born, I had to go for some sort of genetic counseling, I think they call it. I asked her "Donor" at that point if he’d provide me with a simple family tree of health issues. Of course he said yes. Of course he never did it.

I dread the day those kind of questions are directed at DD instead of at me and she’s the one who has to stumble for the answer. I hate feeling like I want to pick up the phone and call him to ask him but knowing I can’t. I hate being forced to think about him at all, really. DD is in a stage of looking like her Donor. In the car, I generally flip the vanity mirror down and angle it so I can look at her while we drive. This morning, I couldn’t even look at her. I could only see HIM staring back at me. I detest being forced to think about him especially when I'm looking at my baby....the person I love more than anything else in this world.

Ever since the therapy session I had where T set me straight to quit thinking of him as her “father” and consider him as a Donor only, I’ve done really well with the whole thing. But then there are days when it all smacks me in the face. Later that day, after we left the dentist, we went to the mall for something and the ladies in the store were admiring DD, guessing her at about 6 years old. If I haven’t mentioned before, DD is very tall for her age. So I said that she would be 4 the end of the month and one of them said “Wow, Daddy must be tall!!” Such an innocuous statement for anyone to make and yet causes so much turmoil for me. I was glad that DD was so tired at that point it really didn’t register with her. I get so on edge waiting for comments like those to start her on another “daddy” kick. She’s not mentioned him in a short while and I’d just assume keep it that way! I digress.

Issue #3, which is really the most difficult for me. And it’s MY issue. My perception, my insecurity. Thumb sucking is a soother. Children need it; I get that. I sucked my thumb until I was 7 and only stopped when they gave me a retainer with spokes in it. I had good reason to suck my thumb and to need soothing with all that was going on in my world. I’m paralleling my beliefs about my own thumb sucking to why DD does it. I feel like I’m doing something wrong and somehow failing to make DD feel safe and that is why she needs to suck. I want her to feel safe on my terms and on my timeline, apparently. I really want her to stop for the dental issues more than anything. I don't want her to need a rake, braces or surgery. I’d be more than happy to give her back her paci in place of her thumbs. But I definitely feel like I’m failing to provide her with some sort of security that she needs and I hate feeling this way. I hate feeling like my choices or actions are leaving a void in her life.

No comments: