I never sucked my thumb. I used to suck on my index and middle finger on my right hand. I would stick them in my mouth to about my second knuckle and suck on them. While I sucked on them I would rub the fabric of my favorite blanket between my thumb and index and middle finger on my left hand.
It was my way to comfort myself.
It seemed that my mom always knew when I was sucking my fingers and it took me years to realize that it wasn't that she had eyes in the back of her head but that she would hear me rubbing the fabric and knew that I was sucking my fingers.
I remember one time when I was very young that I had left my blanket at the public library and we had to drive back over to get it. By the time we returned they had closed and my father pounded on the door so that they would let me in to get it back. I wouldn't have been able to sleep without it.
I still sucked my fingers even into elementary school. I remember in third grade we always had to put our heads down and be quiet after recess for a minute or so before class would start. It would be dark and I would stick my fingers in my mouth. I didn't want anyone to see me do it, but it was still my comfort.
My brother had to get braces and my mom took me to the orthodontist to check my mouth as well. I had very straight teeth but she was concerned that I would push my teeth out with the constant sucking of my fingers.
The orthodontist told my mom that if I stopped sucking them that my teeth would grow in straight but that there was another problem. When I would swollow instead of pushing my tongue against the roof of my mouth I would push it against my top teeth. If this continued I would have buck teeth and have to get braces to correct it.
I had never heard of the item that they installed in my mouth. It was called a tongue crib. It was used to retrain your tongue to push against the roof of your mouth to prevent tooth movement.
I had to rest my tongue in this contraption so that every time I swallowed it wouldn't push against my teeth.
The worst part of the entire issue was that I couldn't take it out. I had to go to school with this thing in my mouth. Trying to talk with it was a nightmare. I sounded like someone with a dimenished mental capacity.
Go ahead, try it. Stick your tongue on the roof of your mouth, say "A Commedienne's Sidekick" and see how it sounds.
Yeah, this is what I sounded like for 6 months or so in the third grade. It was embarrassing.
I am pretty sure my mom enjoyed the perk that I was no longer able to suck my fingers as the tongue crib would dig into my fingers. She had tried everything from Tobasco Sauce to that nasty nail polish and nothing ever worked.
When the removed the tongue crib I immediately tried to suck my fingers again but it never felt the same.
I do still rub fabric though. I don't even realize that I am doing it, but it still comforts me.