Bad habits are like a comfortable bed – easy to get in to but hard to get out of. Nobody is proud of their bad habits. Those that appear to be are fooling you as well as themselves. They are rationalizing behavior they wish they weren’t addicted to. And rationalizing contains the word lies (at least in pronunciation).
Everyone has a bad habit. Don’t pretend you don’t. Some deep dark secret that is indulged in as often as circumstances may allow. That thing your mom told you not to do so you wait until nobody is looking.
When the secret is found out people try to tell you how to feel. They say things like, “That’s disgusting! Stop doing that!” Sometimes they try to take your habit away from you in a cold turkey sort of way.
The sheep were thrown in the trash right in front of her. Reality sunk in later and the wailing started. Followed by maternal guilt calculated by how much therapy will cost years from now.
The furniture in her room was rearranged and all the sheep fuzz was vacuumed up. Or so I thought.
I don’t know where she finds this stuff. Maybe it’s not always leftover sheep fuzz. This morning she took out a long string of it and carefully placed it on the table next to her cereal. Like it was a piece of gum or something she was saving for later. After her cereal was finished the fuzz went back in.
She savors it like a guilty pleasure with eyes rolled back into her head. She keeps it in place with her fingers – her other bad habit. Do you know she has calluses on her fingers from sucking on them? I painted her nails yesterday and most of the polish is off already.
The fuzz goes in and back out then held up to admire then back in to enjoy. This is how she puts herself to sleep. Maybe that’s why we have been at go to sleep war for weeks now. I threw away her shorn sheep. Somehow every morning she is seen with a new piece. She is more than willing to take one last pleasurable suck before throwing it in the garbage.
I see her scavenging the floor for fuzz. She is a true fuzz connoisseur. Not any piece will do. She must have a rubric of qualities in mind. Not too small, color matters, etc. Polyester doll hair and yarn doll hair seem to have taken a back seat for now to any mass of white fuzz found throughout the house.
I tell her that her habit may be why she occasionally suffers from constipation. I think of my cousin’s dog that used to eat trash. My favorite story was when he got a hold of a tampon and left his doggy treasures in the yard complete with a string coming out the end. So far I have not seen evidence of fuzz in Gwen’s daily gifts to me.
She masks glares at me behind a sweet smile and equally cooperative “Ok Mommy.” I know she must be thinking I’m such an old lady for “killing her fuzz.”
I worry this habit will not be broken. That she will go to kindergarten with a tin full of dripping fuzz.
How do I help her? Give her gum? I’ve done that and she plays with it much like the fuzz only it grosses me out when she drops her gum anywhere. I’m not a germiphobe in the least but dusty, gritty gum crosses the line for me. Do I redirect her obsession to sucking on her shirt? The boys like that. Will the oral phase ever end?
What about introducing her to legal addictive stimulants like the caffeine in Diet Coke? Because that’s what I need, a toddler with the shakes.
For now I think I’ll just roll my eyes and look at the pictures I took of her French braid that I redid and touched up with hairspray.
She sure is a pretty little thing. Weird but pretty.