When I gave birth to my little guy I knew he would be a “binkie” baby. How did I know this? Because,I have absolutely no problem with a little bit of ‘forced’ attachment. From the get-go, I stuck that plug in Jack’s mouth at the first sign of trouble. He’d barely manage to squeak out a “Wa-” before that artificial nipple snuffed it out. And, fortunately, my persistance won out because I managed to turn my child into a full-on addict. Sure, I felt a little bit of guilt at being his “pusher” but mealtimes at the local Mexican restaurant were much more peaceful for everyone.
But, really the joke was on me. Unbeknownst to me,while that binkie was still firmly placed in his mouth, he was also forming an attachment to an entirely different inanimate object as if he knew the binkie would be short-lived and was preparing a replacement vice. One in which I really had no vested interest at all.
I had been putting Jack to bed with this particular blanket because it was, quite frankly, a sweet little white cable-knit and it matched his room.That was it. And little did I know that he was cuddling up to this little blanket, building a relationship that would become first and foremost the most important part of his little life.
This blanket would one day be dubbed “Baby” and would be as present in his company as a box of Cheezits are in mine. (I’m not proud of that but thought it would put things into perspective.)
Cute, yes (the blanket, not the Cheezits, obviously). But I’d be remiss if I left out one important fact…”Baby” has not aged very well. What wasonce a gleaming white cottonhas nowevolved intoa dingy gray. Her tight cable-knit now a much looser version of her former self (I can so relate with this.)Granted, she’s been through some trials and tribulations. She’s wiped many a snotty nose, soaked up remnants of dinner on dirty littlehands and has been drug through the house at times carrying an 8-pound shih-tzu on her back. Yes, “Baby” has seen better days. But with the love of ahopelessly devoted romantic, Jack doesn’t notice. She’s still as beautiful to him now as she was the day they met.
Much like a lover nuzzles his beloved’s neck, Jack sniffs his “Baby” with as much unabandon. And here’s the thing about that…”Baby” has taken on a bit of a smell over the years. Again, Jack doesn’t notice.
“Baby” lulls Jack to sleep and eases his anxiety. She comforts him when he’s ill and stays by his side until he’s well. And thank goodness for that.
Jack has been sick for the past few days and has been as-of-latehunkered down in our bedroom watching Spongebob Squarepants, his “Baby” placed under his arm like a pair of sweethearts at a drive-in movie.
I checked on him periodically to make sure that he was still, in fact, sick and hadn’t decided to take an ample opportunity to pillage my bathroom cabinets.( Need a reminder of that fiasco? Here.) Most of the time he was laying down, looking at the TV with that Spongebob Squarepants-induced open-mouthed stare.
On one of my roundsI walked into the bedroom expecting to find Jack in his familiar position staring at the televisionand was surprised to find him gazing lovingly at “Baby” and whispering what sounded to be “sweet nothings” in her ear.
“You know what, Baby? I wuv you. I do. You know how much?”
Baby looked at him expectantly.
“I wuv you very much. My favorite Baby.”
Awww…Baby is happy.
“And guess what, Baby? You don’t stink. I fink you smell real good.” And then Jack proceeded to dive in for what must have been the 472nd sniff of the day.
What Iwitnessed here folks was an intimate moment between Jack and his First Love. I should have guessed that his relationship with “Baby” would lead up to this momentbut I don’t think a mother is ever truly ready to accept that she has some worthy competition.It’s obvious that Jack prefers the bedraggled look andslightly funky smell and I am just tooclean and Dove fresh for his taste.
Do I begrudge Jack his “special” relationship? Nah. That blanket has worked wonders at easing afit andlulling an active child to sleep. But, do I worry about that inevitable day when “Baby” goes missing and Jack loses the love of his life? God, yes.