My first baby was a thumb sucker and remained a thumb sucker for long beyond what might still be considered cute. She also had an obsessive need to fiddle with her belly button. Such was this need that she would become quite frantic when she started to get tired and whatever clothes she was dressed in denied her access. Whenever I dressed her, I had to be mindful that there was 'a way in'
My second baby was a hair twiddler, which was odd really because out of all my children, she was born with the least hair and it took forever to grow to anything approaching noticeable. Now, she has an amazing mass of thick, curly hair which she still twiddles at times of nervousness, anxiety, boredom or absent mindedness.
Baby number three wasn't very interested in thumb sucking or hair twiddling.
Baby number four twiddled my hair which I found insanely annoying and developed an interesting technique for drinking her milk from a beaker without removing the index and middle fingers of one hand that were always firmly planted in her mouth.
It wasn't until baby number five, born 12 years after I thought my family was complete, that an attachment to an external object was formed for comfort. Baby number 5 sucks her thumb and twiddles with a dirty frayed corner of a cellular cot blanket. She is remarkably dextrous with the tatty bit of cloth. I have watched her stroke her upper lip with it, push it up her nose and weave it through her fingers - all these manoeuvres conducted whilst sucking the thumb of that hand. When her free hand becomes involved she will whip herself gently in the face with the loose threads. Her attachment to the blanket has only developed since she was a toddler - as a baby, the thumb alone sufficed. The intensity of her attachment is very recent. We always need to know where 'Tor' is (Tor being her name for the 'dirty corner').
The name 'Tor' is just one example of the idiolect that has crept into our family's vocabulary. Other notable examples are Mimi (mummy), Jub (thankyou) and of course she has her own versions of the names of all her siblings. The acquisition of language is a fascinating process to witness and I am loving the proper conversations we are starting to have together.
Now if only I could explain to her in words she would understand why Tor really needs to go in the washing machine!!