Harper Jo is very attached to McCall. It has only been recently that she will allow me to comfort her instead of McCall. I guess we're all pretty attached to our mothers and especially in childhood I think we feel more connected to Mom. Some of this may come out of the "natural order" in which matriarchs are caregivers while patriarchs are lawgivers. It is only after much maturation that we realize the importance of the steadfast instruction of our fathers.
Harper loves her mommy very much. Almost as much as the original point of contact between them. That's right. I'm talking about her belly button. That physical mark we all bear that, to some degree, defines our human-ness. The one thing we all have in common, the one scar we all bear. Reminding us that we were brought forth through great difficulty, and pain, but also with great love, and joy.
For Harper, though, the it's become an obsession. She touches her own belly button constantly. She doesn't suck her thumb, so belly button pushing has become her default method of self soothing. It's also very important to her that others see her belly button. She loves pulling up her shirt and showing it to people.
She also loves to see and touch ours as well. If she ever sees my or McCall's belly button she wants to poke it. I even make sound effects whenever she pushes mine which always draws much delight and giggles.
It is to the point now where we have to consider her belly button when we dress her. Dresses and onesies are more difficult now because she may melt down if she can't get to her bebo. See, it's not enough for her to touch it through clothes, it has to be direct contact. We even cut the bottoms off some of her onesies so she could get to it.
From where did this obsession come? Tiny the Dog. Who is Tiny the Dog? That's a bit more complicated. Tiny the Dog is an interactive stuffed animal (complete with glowing belly button) that comes with an educational DVD. The DVD contains all kinds of scenes designed to help babies and toddlers learn about colors, shapes, and object permanence. During the video, the characters on screen talk and Tiny the Dog responds.
In the middle of the program, the characters all sing a song together. The lyrics are as follows:
Belly button, belly button/When you touch it great things happen.
It's my tiny tickle dot/Hee hee hee, that's the spot.
Harper is now convinced that touching her belly button will cause great things to happen. Which I guess is accurate to some degree. When she touches her belly button she stops crying so that IS great.
But sometimes I wonder about the long-term effects. Can she suffer from belly button chafing? Will this practice encourage early lint build up? Can she actually poke through into her belly?
All things considered, I guess it's not really a very big deal. It could be a lot worse. She could have a compulsive need to put her middle finger up her nose. That would be so bad.