I can't count how many stages Gracie has been through in her short four years. Some of them good, plenty of them less than great; but I am surprised that one of her grossest stages has reared its ugly head--again.
Babies learn by putting things in their mouths. I find it nasty, but tried not to keep my precious infant from exploring the world around her...but boy was I glad when that particularly long phase of development was over. Or at least I thought it was over.
Now, at age 4 it seems like it has started all over again! I have noticed over the past month or longer, that Gracie is always putting something in her mouth; the clothes she is wearing, a blanket or towel, Lambie, paper, and especially her fingers!
I have tried not to make a huge deal out of it...but it is gross, and trust me I know where those fingers have been!
Garren and I have asked her time and time again if her teeth hurt or if her mouth is uncomfortable. She insists that she is fine and has no explanation of why she is chewing on her fingers or anything else.
My worst fear is this is yet another nervous tick. She has quite a few. She is so painfully shy and worries all the time. Its hard to believe, but it is inherited. Garren's whole family worries constantly over the smallest of things. I have done so much to be sure that this doesn't happen to her, but it doesn't seem to be helping. I encourage her, I am overly optimistic about everything and we talk about "no worries" and "no big deal," and when there is a mess or accident I ALWAYS tell her "it's okay!" and we clean it up together. But, she will still worry. She can't be around the news when it is on, if can't tell her she will be getting a bath until I start the water or she will think about it all day (hates to have her hair washed), she will even worry that the store we are going to might be closed. This is just one of those obstacles that we as a family have learned to deal with and we pray for the best. I don't want her to be a child or an adult who can't cope with life.
So, I am actually hoping that the everything in the mouth is just more molars coming in and she isn't aware of why she is doing it. She already has her 5 year molars (she got those last year), so I guess that last set maybe popping through? I told you she grows very fast, she always has--and she remains literally off the chart in her height and weight!
I would ask for ideas for keeping things out of her mouth, but I haven't gotten desperate enough yet. Vinegar might work though and would be super funny--but knowing her, she would like it!