Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Story of Blankie

I feel the need to take a long pause and condsider the fifth member of our household: Blankie.

Without fail, if you ask Katy who her best friend is, she will answer, "Blankie." If she is in one of her three-year-old moods and doesn't want to meet so and so at the park, she will say, "I don't like her, I only like Blankie. She's my only friend."

Katy and Blankie, Easter 2008

Whenever we travel anywhere to stay overnight, of course we have to take Blankie. There is a small part of my mind that is worried about her whereabouts during the entire trip. When we get in the car to return home, I always, without fail, do a Blankie check. Because if we left her, no matter how far we had traveled, we would have to turn around and go back.

Blankie makes a cameo in Katy's 3 month portrait. Little did I know...

The only other time Blankie leaves the house is to go to the pediatrician. I am willing to do anything to make those visits more pleasant.

Katy and Blankie after first haircut, age 20 months

If Katy is holding Blankie, she has her in her right hand, sucking her thumb so Blankie is under her nose, twirling her hair with her left hand. If we are about the leave the house and she has to part with Blankie, she'll say, "Wait, one more smell..." and take a whiff as an addict would take a hit, closing her eyes to appreciate it fully.

Katy and Blankie, around Katy's 2nd birthday

At one point, the rule was that Blankie stayed upstairs, in her crib. She kept pushing the limits on that one, until Blankie's home during waking hours was on the bottom step, so that at least she was within vision so Katy could play with comfort. Finally, I gave in and let her drag it all over the house, which is why we are in the situation we are in today (see below).

Blankie was orginally a gift from my friend Cindy (the bride from this weekend's party). In the card she said something like, "I hope Katy appreciates a blanket like Mel and I did." Cindy used to tease me that I didn't understand having a blanket. But my sister did.

Video evidence that Blankie's been around a while

When I started trying to put blankets in her crib as comfort items, she was less than one year old. I was still a little nervous about SIDS, so I rotated between a few different blankets, all of which had breathing holes. If I had it to do over again, I would've picked the ones that would've stood the test of time without unraveling. Oops.

This one didn't make the cut, but was in the running (Katy, 8 months)

When Katy made her selection (and it was clear the one she preferred), I went back to Babies R' Us where it was purchased to buy another one. I wanted a backup to rotate for washing, and heaven forbid, in case we ever lost it. But unfortunately, they had stopped making Blankie. I looked everywhere on eBay and other online stores, to no avail. I picked the closest looking and feeling blanket she owned, and started putting that one in the crib, too. She now calls that one Other Blankie. It stays in her bed and she doesn't care much whether it's there or not.

Other Blankie, comforting a newborn Katy

I have to admit that I love Blankie, too. Blankie makes it easier to comb Katy's hair. Blankie helps soothe her tears when she's sick or tired or on long car rides. Blankie is like an extension of me, and she can be there when I'm not, or even just help me out when I am.

Just a few weeks ago, at her cousins' house

So here's the problem: Blankie is not holding up well, physically. (Ironic, isn't it, since she's the one who's been to the doctor so many times?) First her edges started to come loose, and then one hole after another is starting to spread like wildfire. Pretty soon, I am fearful that she will be nothing but a long string. And what will we do? She's on a very limited washing schedule, in which we give her a bath in a bowl in the sink. I fear she wouldn't make it in the washing machine ever again, even in a lingerie bag.

I've come up with short term solution, but I'm looking for more ideas. I just tied her in a big knot. Katy complained that she was "bumpy," but it's the only way I can think of to keep her from unraveling. I might tie her again so she's just one knotted ball. But I'm not sure how Katy would react.

So seriously, any suggestions for saving my daughter's best friend? Or how I would comfort her if Blankie went by the wayside?


bluedaisy said...

No good suggestions for maintaining. I fear that you might have to replace blankie at some point...sigh... I wanted to share that I still have what is left of my blankie- the yellow, silky edge with a few fabric tatters. It is in a dresser drawer in my bedroom to this day...for years, it was under my pillow. I am pretty sure it lurked in a drawer at college. I tried to throw it out when I was maybe 10 or 11 and my mother would not hear of it. I am now glad that I kept it. Oddly, it still smells like comfort...Not sure how I would approach this one-maybe have an overlap period of original with new blankie and then keep original in a special spot? Good luck!!

Physibeth said...

My mom might have some suggestions...if it is knit (it looks like it) you might take it to a yarn store and see if they have any suggestions. I also have the ragged remains of my blankie. It is a trunk with other remnants of my childhood. My mom has similar pictures of me holding my blankie in my right hand sucking my thumb and twirling my hair.

Mommy Daisy said...

Would she be interested in picking out a new blankie at a store? Zachariah has two little blankets that he loves. They are handmade, but they are small. Fortunately he only uses them in bed. My sisters both loved their blankies to death, but I didn't use mine as much. I still have my baby blanket.

I recently crocheted Zachariah an afghan for his bed. He loved picking out the yarn colors at the store. I loves having that blanket on him at night, and it travels with us where ever we go. Would she be interested in a homemade afghan? I'd be happy to make one for her.

Anonymous said...

I'm would doubt that blankie can be replaced in Katy's eyes. Kimmy's blankie looked exactly the same and she STILL has fond feelings for blankie. Kimmy and I did eventually decide to cut blankie in half, and eventually into fourths. Obviously, you need to talk to Katy about this because it can't be undone. But cutting it into fourths seemed to relieve the strain on the fabric because it wasn't being pulled and knotted so much and I could also tuck a few of the small sections away. Kimmy seemed to like the smaller blankie just as much and at least then we had back up if it fully dissintegrated. Kimmy didn't even care if she was carrying around a string, at least it was the real BLANKIE!!! If you have to replace it, perhaps another blankie around the house would be more comfortable for her than a brand new one.

Cindy said...

Em, this is such a beautiful tribute to Blankie. I was cracking up about Katy taking one more sniff before leaving her blankie - you tooootally understand. I am glad you allow her to keep her trusted best friend. Mine helped me through lots of insecure moments growing up!! When my original blanket got to the point that Katy's is now, my mom bought a very similar one (it was important that it was the same/close in a tactile and color way) and SEWED the bits of my original blanket on to the new one, around the edges. I was maybe 5 or 6? I vividly remember the change. It was a BIG DEAL. It was all OK though because I still had my old blanket. I wonder if you could do something like that? Thank you for understanding about blanket users!!! Love you.

Pam said...

I have no helpful advice but i thought Mommy Daisy's idea of letting her pick out a new one might work?