Sharing the love

            My boys are blankie kids.  Zachary has a Taggie, a one-square-foot home base that he no longer brings to school but leaves in the car to await his return after a day apart.  I never suggested he stop bringing Taggie to school; I liked to think of it there in his cubby, never touched but backing him up as he negotiated the vagaries of preschool.  But, one day he decided that Taggie would remain in the car, and it has since become a companion for select down times during the day.

            Benjamin, being only two, is considerably less discriminating about his giraffe blankie.  It goes everywhere, but mostly in his mouth.  He manages to stuff about a third of that thing down his throat, which leaves his hands free for more important activities like pushing other children in the play yard and wrecking havoc on the teachers’ organizational system.  He sucks it with the passion of a pacifier kids who just never had a pacifier.  That’s OK; giraffie serves the purpose just fine.

            We wash it every night, but it’s still soggy, bacteria-laden, and generally disgusting.  No one wants to touch giraffie, and Zachary actually recoils whenever it comes within two feet of him.

            Our children think their blankies are their true loves, but J and I have a secret: Taggie and giraffie are arranged marriages.  That’s right, we chose our children’s lovies.  Rather than leaving it to chance and ending up with a one-of-a-kind blanket knitted out of cashmere by dear old cousin Martha, we fixed our kids up with commercial blankies that we could buy multiple copies of to rotate in.  When they were newborns, every time I nursed my children, I gave them their lovies.  Within a few months, the bond had been formed, and we made sure to buy several spares.

            So, I was unsurprised when Zachary told me that the gift he wanted to get his baby sister was a blankie.  He wanted one like his brother’s giraffie, only a different animal.  We went to the store and he chose a pink bunny blankie, spending his whole allowance of a quarter to bring home the special friend.  He waited anxiously for her birth so he could initiate her into the rites of the Temple of Lovies.

            Benjamin, on the other hand, had a slightly different way of showing his sister how happy he was with her arrival.  Visiting us at the hospital, he brought giraffie along in his mouth.  Somehow, he managed not to set off alarms at the entrance with that thing, and it made it all the way up to our hospital room.  Along with all the visitors, he sanitized his hands upon arrival so he could touch the baby.

            He perched on the edge of my lap while I fed Lilah, tentatively touching her cheek.  Then, looking about for an offering to show her just how special she was to him, he reached out his hand and offered her his wet, germy giraffie.  All the adults in the room recoiled as he reverently offered his newborn sister the source of all staph infections.

            “There’s not enough Purell in the world,” our friend sighed.

14 responses to “Sharing the love

  1. truly precious. a drop of everything right in the world.

  2. HA! That’s so sweet (and of course, disgusting). You are way smarter than me sister! We have the “only-one-on-earth” lovie thing in our house. If we lose it, we’re toast.

    (We did try to buy more after he latched on to that rabbit, but he’d had it for several months already and it was purchased at Easter and alas, even the power of Google could not uncover a spare. )

  3. Funny! JJ has 2 “Boos” that used to go everywhere. But, now he is sometimes undecided as to whether they stay or go. This morning he said they were staying home, on his bed. But, when he got to Grammy’s he was regretting his decision. It is hard enough to grow up, those lovies make it just that much easier.

  4. My boy has a lovey too, which I’ve replaced the ears about 4 or 5 times. He’s had some substitute lovies in a crunch, but none as special as that particular one.

    It was so sweet when he too wanted to initiate the twins into the lovey realm. He has even offered to share his own with them. It’s sweet.

    I love the Purell comment!

  5. We have Geoff the giraffe (as you know) and Puppy, both the same type with different animals for exactly the reasons you mentioned. But my best friend’s son adopted a pink poodle lovie that he sucks on, too. By now it is discolored and generally disgusting, so it was funny to read this story and picture just how gross his blanket is, and him offering it to an infant. But it’s surely a sign of acceptance, though, right?

  6. We did the same things with our boys. They’ve both always had blankies as their comfort object and it’s adorable to see them drag them around (well, not Ben any longer).

    I love the idea of him sharing his blankie with his sister. How sweet.

  7. It’s pillows at our house.

    Don’t think I got to say congratulations yet! So glad you all are well!

  8. That is just the sweetest story. You know, minus the staph infection part. You’ve got some awesome boys there.

  9. Aw, I love blankies! Me and my brother always had blankies when we were little… in fact, I still have mine! Not Little Bear and Pufferfish though. Little Bear did have one specific blankie she loved when she was littler, but mostly they love all the household blankets equally and often steal the ones I am trying to sleep on!!!!

  10. I’m terribly late on this, having been without Internet for almost two weeks, but congrats on your baby. I’m so excited for your family, and I,be enjoyed catching up. My sister had a blanket much like Ben’s giraffe. I was so glad when she out-grew it. It was bright yellow once, but by the time it died, you couldn’t tell very well anymore. Buying several is a great idea. Best wishes in the comming weeks and months!

  11. How funny! My son had a blankie too, but the real love object was small bear called Goldie. This was foolish of us because he wasn’t golden for long. In fact by a couple of years in we were calling him toxic bear. We weren’t as smart as you, only had the one and worst of all, he wasn’t machine washable. It’s astonishing sometimes that children survive those early years!

  12. that is so sweet.

    just recently I brought MY blankie down from the attic (crocheted by my great aunt) and MQ has been sleeping with it

  13. LOL!!! I think I just spit all over my keyboard. (Also, unsanitary, come to think of it!) Too funny.

  14. I’ve been woefully absent, mired in my own tiresome life, but I have been thinking of you and yours every single day.

    I’m so glad your sweet girl arrived. Congrats to everyone.