I was enjoying the relative quiet of nap time, one child singing upstairs in her bed, the other nurse-dozing on the boob. I was thinking of something to write about this week (blog topics don’t exactly spring to mind with all the screeching in my house recently) when my eye caught something unusual – Blankie, crumpled up in a corner, her owner upstairs in bed.
She (yes, “she” – my 2-year-old is adamant about this) is a 12-ish-inch by 12-ish-inch squarish knitted blanket. My ultra-crafty mom made her and many others like her by hand. We have lost at least two other blankies and currently have two in different sizes, but the current version of Little Blankie is my daughter’s favorite by far.
Blankie has been through a lot. For this reason, I can really identify with her. She’s not nearly as bright or as soft as she used to be. She is lopsided, there are strings hanging out of her, and she has… an odor. It is 90% my daughter and 10% germs. Some might call her shabby, but any mom knows she’s just well-loved. My daughter crumples up Blankie and holds her close to her heart, against her cheek. She rubs her on her nose when she’s tired.
Blankie goes to bed with my girl. She rides with her in the car. She goes to school with her. Everyone at school seems to know my girl and her Blankie. Blankie even appeared in her school picture last year. Worn on the head, Blankie is a hat. Stuffed in a pair of pants, she’s a tiger’s tail. Tucked into a shirt, she’s a superhero’s cape. Blankie plays peek-a-boo with both my girls every day. She soothes boo-boos. She puts stuffed animals to bed. She has caught a million sneezes and weathered dozens of spills.
Many nights, I have heard my daughter crying in her bed. She’ll wail, “My Blankie is lost!” as I reveal her hiding underneath her pillow. On many occasions, we have gone through Blankie mini-crises when we haven’t been able to find her. One time Blankie sat outside in the road for a couple of hours before we found her. Another time, I came across her hanging on our back fence in the rain. Many times, we’ve retraced our steps in stores to find her crumpled on the floor or in a kind person’s hands.
If I’m being honest, Blankie doesn’t get washed as much as she should because it’s hard for me to pry her out of my girl’s fingers for the length of an entire wash and dry cycle. That’s why it was a little unusual to realize that she was napping without Blankie today. I know this is an early sign that Blankie’s days are numbered. My girl’s teachers have already mentioned that she won’t be able to take her to the 3’s room in the fall. Increasingly, my daughter chooses a toy or tool to bring out to a store with her instead of Blankie.
Each of my girls has a box where I put special keepsakes for them. Their hospital hats and bracelets, ultrasound pictures, first pairs of shoes. There is plenty of space for Blankie in there, and I know that will be her permanent home in the not-too-distant future. But not yet, ok? You hear that, kid? Please keep snuggling with Blankie a little longer. I’m not ready to let go of her yet.