A few weeks ago, an acquaintance mentioned on Facebook she was collecting suggestions of things that kids do that make parents wonder if they're the only ones.
For example, a parent might wonder, "Is my child the only one who...
...eats dog food right out of the dog's dish?"
...sticks beans/holly berries/erasers/beads in his nose/ears/both?"
...demands privacy when she goes to the potty but barges in on me every time I dare to shut the bathroom door?"
My contribution to this list would have to be, "Is my child the only one who chews on all the sleeves of his shirts?"
Except, well, I know that I'm not. Who knew that this was a common childhood thing for lots of kids? I didn't know until the Internet because I never did this as a kid, and David says he didn't, either.
William used to chew on the neckline of his shirts. Thankfully, he stopped. Eventually. But now Andrew has started chewing the sleeves AND the necklines of all his shirts and sweaters. It is driving me bananas. He KNOWS that this drives me crazy and that he's not supposed to do it, but he does it anyway. And somehow, the clammy damp slobbery fabric flapping around his wrists (and neck) DOESN'T EVEN BOTHER HIM.
Gah. I'm having the vapors, just typing it out. Yuck yuck yuck.
No, Andrew doesn't have any sensory or anxiety issues. In fact, he's pretty well adjusted, and he supposedly doesn't exhibit any behavioral issues in school. He is able to focus very well on projects for long periods of time, too. He just....likes to chew on his clothes.
Several people have suggested that I buy what's essentially a teething necklace for him. Another friend suggested a bracelet. Many of these products are marketed towards children with sensory disorders or other developmental issues; a brand that I've heard a lot about is Chewelry, although I'm sure there are other, cheaper, products out there that would work just as well. I'm about ready to do anything to get him to stop gnawing on the sleeves of that precious striped Hanna Andersson sweater that I love so much and hate to see being ruined. But I'm not even sure I could convince him to 1) wear a necklace or bracelet and 2) chew on said necklace or bracelet instead of the shirt!
He's my own personal version of Chewy Luis (Luis Suarez, the Uruguyan soccer player who can't seem to resist biting things....and, er, people). That's my kid: Chewy Drew. Thank goodness that he's only chomping away on his own clothes, though, and not other people and their clothes.
Someone else, wisely, said to me, "This, too, shall pass." And of course, I know this from personal experience, as William did stop. I just wish I could get Andrew to stop RIGHT NOW. Perhaps I need some sort of anti-anxiety device myself....