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ink painting with soft washes, child sucking thumb


Mother photographs her thumb sucking pre-school child. The child’s ankle bandaged. Nothing’s unusual there. All preschool children have a natural concern about their body integrity. The child needs reassurance that her blood will not pour out with every scratch. But this family tension revolved around Cindy’s lack of proper sucking. My mother wrote, “…after (Cindy’s) very bad start she did not suck too well.” I can imagine that every feeding was accompanied with the fear of Cindy’s choking. Certainly, the older sibling absorbed those anxieties.