Some kids have a favorite blankie. Some kids suck their finger or thumb. Some are attached to a pacifier, nuk, doo-dah, whatever you call it. Others have a favorite stuffed animal. For my daughter – her source of comfort and object of self-soothing is her belly button. From the day she found it, Aishtyn has had a special love affair with her little outtie of a belly button. When she was nursing as a baby, she enjoyed playing with mine (a weird sensation, let me tell you), but since then she has graduated to enjoying her own. She hates overalls or any other clothing that restricts her from full “belly button access.”
Some recent developments include “Super Belly Button!” In which, 2 fingers lightly pinching her abdominal extremity, she zooms around the room.
As they grow older, children will sometimes develop an imaginary friend as another way to self-soothe. It appears Aishtyn’s belly button is a full-service appendage; she has given it its own voice (kind of high and squeaky) and just the other night she told my husband that, “Belly button wants to be a person.”
I guess the good news is she can never lose it like a stuffed toy or pacifier, and it doesn’t damage her teeth.
I wonder if perhaps Baby #2 will have the same fascination for belly buttons as his/her sister. Aishtyn talks to baby through my belly button (I suppose she thinks it acts as some kind of microphone or telephone line) and at the Dr. yesterday, when he was trying to find the heartbeat, he couldn’t at first. Turns out he was looking too low on my abdomen, as soon as he moved up – by the belly button – there baby was, heartbeat galloping away…just to the right of my innie.