Birds do courtship dances without a single lesson. A spider knows how to spin a web without ever having seen one. In much the same way (except not as nasty as spiders), I believe the Spitty Thumb is an action pattern that’s genetically coded into parents.
It has its stimulus. Kids. They’re absolute schmutz and goober magnets! It’s either their tiny bodies (eye boogers, drool, snot) or the environment they’re tumbling around in (encrusted food, dirt stains, marker “tattoos”). All the things kids get stuck or smeared on themselves seem to act as triggers for the Spitty Thumb response.
Some new parents may be alarmed when it first happens to them, possibly thinking it’s a thumb sucking compulsion or something. But then the automatic, hard-wired command to take that spit-drenched thumb and use it like a squeegee or scrubbie on some smudge or glob will be utterly irresistible.
Parents do this as if from within, without even thinking about it, sometimes even when there are wipes within reach! This tips list is simply to add some craft to it, since instinct isn’t always as well put together as a spider’s web.
It should be noted though, once the Spitty Thumb action pattern has been activated, it’s best to limit it to your own kids and maybe your sweetheart, if you’re up to pooping in front of one another and such. But that’s all, no one else! Your boss just won’t appreciate the gesture, even if the mustard on the corner of his mouth was right about to drip.
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If you thought this was stupid. Ya ain’t seen nothin’ yet!