So this post is different. More of a series of observations in long question form. It’s about tonguing (as a verb), which I’m not sure is a thing. I don’t really want to google it and wouldn’t know what to call it even if I did. It’s probably not actually called tonguing, but that’s what we call it around here. My wife does it, her father and brother do it. And now my daughter does it.
I don’t know how to better describe it other than it’s essentially putting the tongue between the teeth and half-chewing/half-sucking on it. It’s usually it’s done subtly behind the lips, but if they get too carried away, that sucker pops right out into elements.
This has obviously come up at family things, usually when one of the three points out that another of the three is, at that very moment, tonguing. And all of them (my wife, her brother and father) seem to indicate that the original family cat, years ago, was the trailblazer in the tonguing revolution. Hmmm. Well then why didn’t her mom pick it up as well? An iconoclastic Bubbe from the beginning.
Well, surely these aren’t the only three (now four) people on the planet who do this right? I mean, they’re really not, right? I think it’s a self-soothing mechanism of some sort, because the moment we give HP her blankie, THAT’S when she starts tonguing. Of course she doesn’t have any teeth, so she kind of just gums the thing.
Of course the sucking motion is reminiscent of fikey love, but she quit the fikey cold turkey before she was even six months, for whatever reason. They were so compatible on paper—fikey was handsome enough, had a good job, was polite to waitstaff—there was just no chemistry or spark.
Anyway, she has her 9 month appointment coming up, so I could just ask the doctor, I suppose. I think part of me is afraid he might never have seen such behavior, be horrified, and call in colleagues and specialists who want to make a case study of The Tonguing Phenomenon. Et cetera. Probably not going to happen, but parents have to worry about something, right? Just tell me it’s normal. Tell me your baby tongues, too. Even if it’s not true; it would be one less thing to worry about.