Place thumb against forehead and say “damn”

Back in the day we were prepared for a very small child.? We were naive and thought our brand of child would be small and immobile.? We baby proofed our house, put on cabinet latches and plugged every light socket with a parent proof plastic plug.? Then we found out we would be “having” a toddler.? We kept the babyproofing measures in place because we were still in the “being judged” period of parenting.? Later we discovered that our social worker smoked a little too much pot and really didn’t care if we used the proper latches or tested our smoke alarms on a regular basis.? So we got lazy.? It also helped that we had the easiest kid in the world.? Nothing terribly out of the ordinary with this child.? A little sensitive to sound.? Aside from the food throwing the boy was a typical 2 year old.? Then he grew into a typical 4 year old.

A few months back I was talking with one of the preschool teachers.? I wanted an update on how Oleg was doing.? If she saw anything unusual or extraordinary about him.? Other than he had the answer for every question he was a normal kid.? I trust her on this one.? She happens to be the mother of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder.? I trust her.? I talked to her about the boy’s sensitivity to sound and that he had this habit of smelling everything he came in contact with.? It’s a little odd, but he’s quirky so I let it go.

She told me about one thing that, at the time, I put off doing the “it won’t happen to me” parenting.? She said that all children must go through an oral phase.? It doesn’t matter what age they do it in, but they must do it.? It is a developmental thing that all persons process through.? Her story about her son with SPD’s encounter with the oral phase is quite funny, but not my story to tell.? Most kids go through this stage within the first 18 months.? However, my child spent the first 22 months of his life in an institution and never had the opportunity to put things in his mouth.? Oral exploration was not something that was encouraged and in fact, it was highly frowned upon.? Odds are my child did not experience this stage within those first 18 months.

How do I know this?? Well… the boy has entered an oral stage.? Fortunately, for the moment, he isn’t chewing on anything. Right now it’s just licking.? The kid licks everything.? In the bath tub he licks the side*.? I came home from work this afternoon and said I wanted a hug.? He says, “not right now mommy, I need to wash my hands.”? He then proceeds to lick them clean.

Now imagine a woman placing her thumb against her forehead and saying, “damn” as she envisions her child licking the produce at the grocery.

*note to husband, clean bath tub mor often.

16 Comment

  1. Lena says: Reply

    Sorry, I laughed, when I got down to note to husband, clean tub more often.

    It’s a stage and he will outgrow it. Welcome to the club for motherhood enjoyment of the crazy things our children do. 🙂

  2. My bathtub might discourage this behavior. LOL Hope he doesn’t lick anything too odd – good luck with that one! LOL (As I frantically search my memory for Sabrina’s oral phase…)

  3. LMAO I just got a message “You are new. You need moderation.” Not new…but I could use moderation in some avenues of my life.

  4. mom says: Reply

    What a crack up!

  5. tacomachickadee says: Reply

    Sounds oh too familiar. We won’t talk about the time the eldest licked the grocery cart about that age. She was sick in no time flat. Ew!!!!

  6. Lauri says: Reply

    That is so true… Liv went through that phase and I am not sure we are done, but it’s better. I was mortified when she licked the counter at McDonalds, the one everyone clings unto as they order… yuck… shiver, or the doorknobs, or any other weird thing.

    It is very normal and I know Liv never got the chance in her early years. Livi also went through her terrible twos at three. Four has been great and now she only mouths items that are allowed by me, her chewy.

  7. Neelie says: Reply

    It’s been a while since I have commented here, your post made me laugh laugh laugh.

    My dd who is 5 still sucks her thumb (I can’t get too mad, I did so until I was 9). She sees a therapist for an unrelated behavioural issue, and the therapist suggested letting her chew gum (something dd has never done) to help with the “oral” needs. If you have no issues with gum you may want to try this. We have not yet tried this option, as this just came up at her appointment yesterday…

  8. DebiP says: Reply

    I can connect with your thoughts on the oral stage..and the smelling…Griffin and O being very close in age (and birth place), what a month apart, are always in the same place developmentally. The smelling and hyper sense of smell kills me daily…and the licking UGH…he, thankfully is not a chewer…and the sounds…OMG he was hearing delayed at first because of numerous untreated ear infections but now with the tubes he hears just perfect. When Spencer was this age and younger, it was this age we figured it all out, he hated the mall. The alarms that run in the jewelery stores and such cause him a great deal of hearing pain. He was blessed with very acute hearing. Of course now at 7 he can’t hear me yelling at him four feet away.

    Good luck El…we are on the same page.

  9. Maggie says: Reply

    Isn’t it interesting how they know what stages they missed? Slugger goes through regressive stages periodically. They don’t seem to last long, but it’s like he’s plugging up a hole that he missed.

  10. That does crack me up just in the slightest.

  11. reeciebird says: Reply

    A 4-year-old I babysat (many) years ago loved to play “doggie” and lick you to pieces. It makes sense that he has to go through it sooner or later. And we all have our own pace too.

  12. we lick, we chew, and if it looks like it could fit in the cat’s anus, well, he just has to see for himself

  13. Ann says: Reply

    oh yeah, my 5 yr old has SPD also & does the oral thing. 🙂 One thing that helps him is having a spin brush toothbrush. He doesn’t lick things as much when he brushes his entire mouth with that brush 2-3x a day.

  14. Jenni says: Reply

    Eamon went through a licking phase too – although I never thought of it as being his oral exploration phase. It all makes so much more sense now! The boy was licking hand rails at the grocery store and mirrors in dressing rooms. I don’t know how many times I said, “Eamon, please keep your tongue in your mouth.” Yuck.

  15. Sandy says: Reply

    M is going through a HUGE oral phase. Our house stinks from slobber. Our living room furniture has all been marked down to the bare wood with her teeth. We all live in fear of the ‘bite’. There’s not a string, strap or buckle that hasn’t been soaked and isn’t now stiff with spit. M goes for the nosedive when I carry her across the deck because she wants to get all those pokey redwood needles in her mouth and lick the dirt off the deck. At the beach she shovels the sand into her mouth, literally. She runs her teeth across the handles of my refrigerator and licks all the sliding glass doors. She has just taken to noticing the cats… I think they’re next. I’ll be happy when this phase is over because this one is a doozy.

  16. I also laughed – sorry!

    As for the bruises, I have an amazing solution for you: Traumeel gel. Since starting karate, I have had a number of pretty colors show up on my skin that aren’t normally there. The gel was recommended to me by my doctor when I injured my shoulder, and I thought I’d use it when a 12-hour karate event ended with a shin bruise larger than my outstretched hand. It was a *lovely* bruise, and went through all the normal color variations in one week. That’s right: a massive, nasty bruise that was gone in a single week; this size of bruise would have normally taken at least two weeks to heal. I’m now sold on this stuff, and it’s homeopathic! For those in the know, arnica is a primary component, but it has other herbs in it to help with quick healing. Go get some. It’s awesome!!

    (By the way, your spell checker is quite amusing: one of the suggestions for arnica was fornicate.)

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