Now Why Didn’t They Have This When I was a Kid?


You may have looked at the title and thought I was referring to an iPhone. Or a DSI. Or Proactiv. Nope. I was doing some online shopping for my daughter the other day and came across this:

It’s called a “thumb guard” and it’s designed to help kids kick a thumb sucking habit. And I sure could have used it myself. That’s right. I was a thumb sucker. And not just one of those oh-look-at-the-cute-little-toddler-with-a-blankie kind. I went waaaay past that and graduated to the oh-my-god-how-old-are you-that-you-are-still-sucking-your-thumb-and-why-doesn’t-your-mother-do-anything-about-it kind!

Funny, the things you remember from childhood. I remember the taste of the corners of my bed sheets that I chewed ragged when I grew too old for my blankie (although apparently not too old for thumb sucking). I HATED new sheets because I knew it would take months of ‘breaking in’ before they would have the right taste and fit just so into the hollow of the roof of my mouth along with my thumb.

I remember sitting at my 5th grade desk trying to sneak my thumb sucking as if I somehow positioned my head and my arms just so, it would look like I was resting my head on my desk and no one would notice. I must have been embarrassed, but I don’t remember being made fun of for it or teased, although I’m sure I was, even if it wasn’t to my face.

I supposed it was a comfort. And it was a habit I just couldn’t kick. (And if I had trouble kicking that habit, just imagine if I wound up a smoker, or a drinker, or worse?!  Whew!)

My parents tried to get me to quit. Oh, how they tried!  They tried rewards. They tried threats. They even tried sneaking some nasty tasting stuff on my thumb while I was zoning in front of the television (probably watching Little House on the Prairie or something). But all to no avail.

Of course, I shouldn’t be writing about this all wistful and nostalgic like it was a good thing. That little habit of mine caused me about four years of dreaded orthodontist visits that my mom hated as much as I did because we’d both get yelled at because I wouldn’t wear my headgear. Shocker, I know. And to this day I still have an overbite that bugs me. Ironically, it was the braces that finally got me to quit the thumb sucking. Well, not the braces themselves, but rather a small metal cage type thing that the orthodontist installed at the roof of my mouth that was supposed to correct my tounge pushing against my front teeth when I swallowed. I noticed, btw, that they don’t use those things anymore. Word must have gotten out about that clever device for torturing pre-pubescents.

This thumb guard is available at one of my favorite websites for neat kid stuff:   One Step Ahead. I have no idea if it works (and no, this isn’t a sponsored post or review or anything). Fortunately, I don’t see my daughter following in my footsteps here, so I won’t be shelling out the steep price of $74.95 for this beauty. But still, it’s nice to know there are new solutions to old problems. And it’s cheaper than the orthodontist.

Thanks for the memories, One Step Ahead! Where were ya when I needed you?


  1. LeeWee says:

    Nice use of the hyphenated modifiers! (You can take the teacher out of the classroom, you know the rest) Love you!


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