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Silky Training

“Mom, I think I want to begin silky
training now,” Maddie said to me a few days ago.

“What’s silky training?” I asked Maddie.

“You know, where I practice using it less.”

“Do you want to give up your silky, honey?” I asked,
pictures of kids teasing Maddie during quiet time at school dancing
unhappily in my head. I know that when she started school
she’d told me a couple kids had teased her about sucking her
thumb while she snuggles with her silky, and though she’d
told me then she didn’t care I thought perhaps things had
changed and she’d become aware of “fitting

“No, I don’t want to give up
silky, but I want to cut back on my thumb. I have a bump on my
thumb from sucking it and I want the bump to go away.”

“What did you have in mind for silky training?” I
asked, intrigued.

“You know, like when I did potty training and I got

Ah, I see.

Maddie’s accepted the fact that Cora’s getting a not
inconsiderable amount of candy with somewhat good grace, but I know
it’s still hard. Apparently Maddie’s found a way to get
back on the candy train.

So here’s the arrangement – Maddie now only snuggles
her silky (which is the only time she sucks her thumb) for naptime
and night-night, and in return she gets a starburst the next
morning. She’s given up snuggling her silky while she watches
or video, or riding in the car, or when she’s tired or on a
break. I think she’s a bit surprised at how much she used to
use it, but so far she’s done incredibly well –
she’s had a starburst every morning since the day after this
thing began. On the few rare occasions when she’s REALLY
needed silky during the day, she’s held it and stroked her
cheek with it, carefully keeping her thumb out of her mouth.

The bump on her thumb has not, of course, gone away, and I’ve
explained that it won’t until she quits completely. But right
now I’m delighted we’ve begun weaning off the thumb
before the dentist stages a forced intervention.

And Maddie, of course, is delighted to have found another way to
get a steady stream of candy going once more.


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