Once upon a time, there were two cousins. One was a petite redhead who'd turned two over the summer. The second a newly crawling brunette who was nosy as the day is long. They were at their grandparents' house for a family dinner. It was a holiday, Thanksgiving or Christmas, I'm not sure which.
The redhead was setting in the middle of the floor busily sucking her thumb & clutching her lovey...a blanket she was never without. The brunette crawled over to set by her cousin & watched intently as though wondering why anyone would want to suck on their thumb. The red head paid no heed to the intruder. Instead she continued to suck her thumb & clutch her blanket.
Slowly but surely, the intruder decided to give the thumb thing a try. She put her thumb in her mouth & sucked on it briefly. Not finding the pleasure in it, she moved on to her index finger, then her middle finger, and so on down the line. All the time, she watched her cousin for clues to why the thumb needed to be sucked. Eventually the brunette decided on the two middle fingers of her left hand.
As she sucked busily on the two newly chosen fingers, she grew curious about the much loved blankie her cousin was never without. She stealthily reached over to rub the satin binding on the redhead's blanket. She was careful not to disturb her cousing for fear the lovey would be snatched away (as what child wants to share their lovey). Soon the two were busy sucking on their chosen digets, one clutching her blanket, the other sneaking a rub on the "silk" just out of sight.
For the next 5 years, the brunette could usually be seen sucking the two middle fingers of her left hand & rubbing anything silky she could get her right hand on. The habit lasted consciously well into the grade school years...and in times of great stress was still observed when the girl was in her early 20's and fast asleep. That's how it all started...so says the Queen Mother.
The reason I'm strolling down a memory lane I can have no actual memory of myself is because of the youngest member of our house hold. None of my kids have ever sucked their thumbs for any great lenght of time. B.B. did it on & off for a few weeks, but it didn't stick. BabyGirl sucked the inside of her lower lip much like her Aunt Princess...the difference being Princess did it until she was 13 & BabyGirl stopped around her first birthday.
Recently Bitsy has taken to sucking the first two fingers of her left hand, but unlike most kids I've seen who suck their fingers, she flips her hand over to do it. Her palm faces up. It looks very uncomfortable to me, but I'm sure that's what many people thought when they saw my two middle ones in my mouth for all those years. But I must say, she's makes a sweet, contented picture...and I don't have to play pacifier.