Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On Blankets

I am a firm believer that every house with children should have an ample supply of blankets. As a child I think I spent the majority of my play time fiddling around with our 3 well-worn (there are 4 kids in my family) receiving blankets. A blanket can be a cape, a tent, a net, a vehicle, a satchel, a horse saddle, a head dress, a costume, a seat, a pillow, and a friend. In fact, all four of us kids had- in addition to the stock of play blankets- our own special blanket that we took everywhere with us. Here's mine:

Pretty worn out - it is literally see-through and I have no idea what color it used to be. My mom made a ceremony out of "putting the blanket in a special place" when she started trying to break me of my thumb-sucking habit at 7. (Yes, 7.) To this day it is nicely preserved in a box in my parents' closet - bless her for knowing how special that blanket was to me! I imagine there was a time when my Mom was carting around three toddlers, each dragging along a worn-out stinky blanket, but she never made us leave the blanket at home. She got it.

Then there was Mister Bear, my youngest brother's blanket substitute. (Apparantly by the time you get to kid 4 you run out of creative names for their stuffed animals.) Michael dragged this poor bear everywhere he went by sticking his index finger into the hole in Mister Bear's throat. (In your mind's eye now add a very small boy to the end of the line of toddlers following my Mother through the grocery store. The first three drag dirty blankets and the last boy drags a bedraggled old stuffed bear wearing a sheep-skin vest.) When Mister Bear's head was finally hanging on by a few frayed threads, Mom reattached it and the process began again. The poor old guy is now beyond repair and has been relegated to the top of Michael's (now 18) book shelf.

This is Moses' blanket. My mother-in-law made it for him. This is actually one example of how great she is: she called me before giving it to him to ask if I minded that she made him a blanket. I'm sure she was thinking of the 3 beautiful blankets I had painstakingly made for him that he wanted nothing to do with. Of course I didn't mind, and of course, this became THE blanket. He sleeps with it every night and drags it all over the house with him. He hates it when I wash it and always reminds me that "it's actually clean." And my feelings aren't hurt at all. Even though making blankets is my second job, I love that he's found his special one. I totally get it.


Barbra said...

I love your blanket stories. My son had a favorite stuffed dog but his son clutched the blanket I made him forever. He called it Woobie!

pam said...

This makes me miss my "over the top loved" blanket that i finally threw away when i was in my 20's. My most vivid memory of it was when i dragged it behind me on my big wheel when I was 5! Fun times! Oh, how i wish i still had it...even if it was faded beyond recognition....but the edge always felt so good between my fingers. Ahhhh, memories!

countingstitches said...

This picture of your blanket when you were little reminds me of my two when they were little. I was 40 when I had my daughter and 41 when I had my son. From past experience of my 2 older boys, I knew about the blanket business.

This time around I made sure that I had plenty of the same type of blankets and of course the same color. My two little one always love the feel of the outside binding that held the blanket together. I watched them while they drank their bottle or falling asleep taking their naps, they would always be rubbing that soft silky binding either against their face or between their fingers.

They took that blanket everywhere they went and those blankets got washed more than our underwear!

Well after all that washing and carrying around they started to fall apart. That's when I would pull out the spare and wash it and soften it and they didn't know the difference!

Course when we couldn't find one and it was nap time, I would pull out the extra without them knowing it, otherwise they would not fall asleep.

Then one day they noticed that they had two blankies and looked at me and smiled.

Eventually, the blankies started to disappeare and where they went only God knows.

At one time we had 6 blankies floating around and to this day whe still don't know where they disappeared to! That became the end of the blanket saga. No more blankets, we were potty trained and went on to bigger and better things like swimming and rollerskating and learning to ride bikes with training wheels.

Oh, by the way, they both stopped taking naps at age 2 like clock work. No matter what I did they wouldn't take a nap.

Hope you enjoyed my story of the "blankies" :D