I think the green blanket showed up as a gift when Ashton was born, and you can see by the photos below that it has remained an important piece in her life. We have supported Ashton fully in her attachment to her blanket, as it has been a comfort to her during times of rest, sadness, and snuggling.
The problem with the blanket is that it is used, in a very precise and systematic way, as a vehicle for thumb-sucking. We’ve not fought this battle… until now. As an almost six-year-old who is very close to permanent teeth, we think it’s time to kick the thumb habit. In recent weeks we’ve chatted about it with her from time to time, checking out different ideas about what might work for her, only to be turned down by her need to suck.
Recently, though, we had a streak of good luck, or good timing, or good thinking… however it happened, it’s working.
Some time ago Matt came across these Flitter Fairies, which “fly” like real fairies. Thankfully the Amazon listing for the fairies features a video, which we decided to invite Ashton to watch with us “just for fun”. As hoped, she got pretty excited about them. We let her excitement simmer for an evening and, after hearing more than a few times how much she wanted a flitter fairy, we brought out and agreed on our master plan: For each day she doesn’t suck her thumb she earns one dollar. After 20 days of no sucking, which we are tracking with a chart, we will give her the fairy (the fairy costs about $20). We bought a thumb-guard to help her during difficult times and at night. So far she’s doing great, and by the time this posts she’ll have 10 days to go. We’ll keep you posted.
This plan is serving more purposes than stopping thumb-sucking: through it Ashton has been copying letters, writing numbers, counting, adding and subtracting, thinking about money, and working on accomplishing a goal.
Oh yeah, and the blanket gets to stay.