When someone says the word “baby,” the first image that […]
When someone says the word “baby,” the first image that comes to mind for me is an infant sucking his or her thumb. Our little guy doesn’t exactly fit the mold, though. Some might say he marches to the beat of a different drum. He turns the expected norm on its head. He laughs in the face of conformity. He is the outlier, the renegade, the maverick and the revolutionary. He is the toe sucker!
We don’t really know how he found his toes or what made him think they would taste good. Regardless of how it happened, the important thing is that it did happen. He found his toes, and he loves them. Well, actually, he loves one toe in particular. The big toe on his left foot seems to be exceptionally sweet.
This is a poignant reminder of how babies often defy the expectations that we adults love to impose upon them. We have in mind what a “normal” baby does, and any deviation from that normal must mean something is wrong. Your little angel didn’t roll over at 6 months, so what? He was probably too busy playing Mozart on the piano.
Our little guy doesn’t suck his thumb. Are we worried? No! He’s too busy sucking his toe. Thumbs are overrated anyway. I am overjoyed to see his early talent for recognizing the need to break away from the herd mentality and chart his own course. He’s already on a trajectory toward greatness. Think of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, John Rockefeller; all toe suckers.* They were great precisely because they didn’t follow the “normal” course marked out for them.
Can parents nurture greatness in their children, or is it all a function of nature? I don’t know. All I know is that we never groomed our little guy to be a toe sucker. It was just in his nature. I do not think it would be a good idea for parents to read this and start thinking they should start encouraging their kids to start sucking their toes, too. Toe sucking isn’t for everyone. Some are just born for toe sucking, and that’s fine. No need to force it.
I love to discover and delight in the idiosyncrasies of our children. Their quirks are their signature and the call sign of their unique personalities. What a joy it is to see these things emerge in our children as they develop.
For now, our little toe sucker is showing himself to be full of surprises. I look forward to seeing what else he has in store for us in the months and years ahead.
*All statistics in this article originated from my brain.