October 5, 2011

The Thumbsucker's Ear

My daughter is a thumbsucker. It's her means of self soothing whenever she is upset, sleepy, or even just bored. Recently, her comfort habit has extended to playing with her ear. While her right thumb is in her mouth, the left thumb is tugging and folding the top of her ear.

At first I was concerned she might have an ear infection, but her ears are fine. She's happy and healthy during the day. She's just developed a habit of folding/bending the cartilage while thumbsucking herself to sleep. It's become a secondary habit so intense, that her top of her ear is now chronically bruised. I don't care if she sucks her thumb. For the time being, it's a habit that I've chosen to ignore. But I would like to create a distraction to discourage the ear folding.

This leads me to two questions: what does an ear feel like, and how can I craft a substitute?

That's my creative assignment for the week. To design some sort of "lovie" object, for my daughter to fiddle, fold, and bend as she is drifting off to sleep - instead of playing with her ear.

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