Since Santa has come and gone leaving behind a pile of loot, Mikey has forgotten that Mr. Claus is watching all year long, and has gone back to sucking him thumb. I guess the Donovan’s never sucked any phalanges (those weird wiggly sticks that are attached to the flat parts at the end of the arms), unlike me who sucked my fingers until I was somewhere around 10, and my sister who sucked her thumb until it was permanently disfigured. So, the sight of Michael with his thumb in his mouth makes Greg insane, thus the power struggle ensues. It goes something like this:
Dad: Mikey, you have to stop sucking your thumb, or it’s going to fall off and then how are you going to play video games.
Mikey: I’ll still be able to play video games.
Dad: Oh yeah? Try picking up Nummy without using your thumb.
(let it be stated here, that I didn’t actually see the attempt. All I know is that Nummy got picked up—whether by the use of the thumb and fingers or just the fingers, I cannot say.)
Dad: Try playing video games without using your thumbs.
(off to get a controller—Michael returns with one in hand and is trying to figure out how to make the joy stick and buttons work without using his thumbs. I even see him trying to control the joy stick with his palm.)
At this point I allude to Greg that maybe I should get a career and he can stay home with the kids. He has such great ideas for getting inside their heads.
A few minutes later…
Mikey is sitting on the floor by me on the sofa, holding Nummy in the crook of his arm and sucking away on his left thumb.
Dad: Mikey, you thumb is going to fall off—you better stop!
Mikey: ( Vacant stare, cuddling Nummy, shaking his head, sucking his thumb.)
Dad: Mikey, you look like a baby. (here’s where I begin to realize that I should probably keep my day job, and so should Greg.) Do you want me to treat you like a baby? You can wear diapers and I can give you enemas everyday! (I don’t know about anyone else’s parenting practices, but I am pretty sure babies don’t require enemas, and especially every day.)
Mikey: (momentarily removing his thumb from his cake hole) When I am a big man, I’m going to suck my thumb. (With quiet defiance defined by the flinty stare in his eyes and his matter-of-fact choice of words.)
Dad: GET YOUR THUMB OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!
The clever battle of wits slowly–excuse me—quickly downwardly spiraled into 6’4” big man with deep voice trying to puff up his feathers to make himself more daunting to the 45” tall donkey with his thumb in his mouth. “Just try to defy me! I’m GIANT AND SCARY!” I bet you anything, if I walked into the other room, I would find Mikey sucking his thumb. I honestly don’t think a spinosaurus could scare Michael into doing anything he doesn’t want to…
Any way to make him pay for his own future orthodontics—he’s most assuredly going to need it with his constant use of his built-in pacifier? I’m pretty sure he could sell s#!t on a stick, since he has stamina enough to ask the same question so many times that even the Dalai Lama would buy it just to get him to go away. Maybe I’ll put him to work and he can pay for some other stuff,too! Then Daddy and I can both stay home and try not to strangle each other or our children while we are spending Mikey’s earnings!