An Immune System Gift?

photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Living with a toddler is often referred to a mirror of your own life.  For anyone who is not yet a parent, it is true.  You will hear words you use, tones you use and so much more coming out of your toddler….  A reminder to watch your “P’s & Q’s” and any other behaviours or habits you wouldn’t want to share.

Time to make a confession, I put my fingers in my mouth way more than a grown adult should ever do.  I don’t say that I chew my nails because I don’t chew them off but if they have any length at all, I will put my finger in my mouth while I’m thinking and play with the end of my nail.  My two year old began to chew his nails.  I never imagined my child would chew his nails and at two years old, I have never heard of it!  Is there an issue with him, is he nervous?  My worry and concern began to fade as I began to notice that each time I went to tell him to remove his hand from his mouth, I would need to remove the exact same finger from my mouth that was in his…  Hmmmm…  Teach a child by example not by speach begins to ring through my mind.  I no longer advise him to remove his hand!  I am now more aware of my behaviour in this manner and my personal reduction of fingers in mouth has helped reduce how often I see his fingers in his mouth.

I was discussing this recent discovery that my son’s fingers in his mouth were a result of my example and my justifying personality checked in.  Hey, I have an amazing immune system.  Everyone around me can be sick, I can be fully exposed, even share a spoon and I don’t get sick.  I have become sick a few more times than normal since becoming a mom because the lack of sleep takes a toll but overall, I stay healthy.  Hey!  I bet it is because I have put so much bacteria in my mouth throughout the years that I have helped build my immune system!  I’ve given my son a gift!

Here is hoping he’ll have the self control to stop putting his fingers in his mouth when he is older as I am sure an adult with finger nails in their mouth is not appealing.  I should live life with a mirror in front of my face and find out – hey, I already do!

It’s not only children who grow.  Parents do too.  As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.  I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun.  All I can do is reach for it, myself.  ~Joyce Maynard (www.quotegarden.com)

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