Every time I take the kids for their routine teeth-cleaning, the dentist asks me if Sweetie has a thumb-sucking habit. And every time I say, “Why, yes. She does.”
And then the dentist suggests we try a rewards chart as a means of ending this nasty habit. So I nod and smile, as I always do, knowing that with my kids, rewards charts go over about as well as an okra milkshake. “Oh, good idea!” I tell him. “We’ll try a rewards chart!”
And then he always adds, “Of course, you can also try duct taping a tube sock to her wrist so she won’t suck her thumb.” He demonstrates using mime gestures as if I don’t speak English, as if he hasn’t told me about this New Idea during every appointment since Sweetie turned three. “Just make a little duct tape bracelet around her wrist, like this, to keep the sock on.”
So I just keep smiling that bullshooty smile, all the while thinking (very loud in my head) there’s no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks I am DUCT TAPING anything to my daughter, partly because it sounds mean, partly because it sounds dangerous and of course partly because I am not interested in adding any additional fodder for future therapy sessions. Even if adding the word “bracelet” to the end of the term “duct tape” does make it seem slightly more feminine and pretty.
BUT today, on the way home from the visit with Dr. Bondage, Sweetie announced that she would like to try the “taping the sock to her hand” thing.
“Really?” I asked. “You’re sure? You really don’t have to unless YOU want to . . . you know that, don’t you?”
Sure, Sweetie nodded. But you know what? I’m not taking any chances. I am crafting an affidavit that I’ll have Sweetie sign with her backwards capital letters, an affidavit that will absolve me of all guilt.
Then I will produce this affidavit in triplicate, saving one for me and one for Sweetie and putting them both in the fire-proof safe where we keep all of our important documents.
The third copy I will seal in an envelope marked Sweetie’s Therapist.
And now, off I go to find some of husbandio’s old tube socks. And some duct tape. Sweetie has requested pink or purple.