Almost five short years ago, when Jack was a teeny tiny human (now he’s just a teeny human) he was gifted with a baby blanket. I wish I could say it came from a dear Great Grandmother, handcrafted from wool she had spun herself (do you even spin wool?) or maybe as a christening gift from a Godfather (we do not christen, therefore we have no Godfather) but it was actually given to my baby boy by his beautiful and talented mother. Me. Obviously.
I came across this precious little white blanket at Target one shopping day while perusing 400 different things I most likely didn’t need and thought to myself, “Mindy, you need to get your boy a blanket…a lovie…a softy…a baby…that he will love and hug and want to sleep with. Forever. Wouldn’t that be sweet?” So I picked it up and brought it home and forced it upon my son by placing it in his crib each and every night he went to sleep. Frequent exposure to his blanket formed what has now become an addiction. Four-and-a-half years later.
The “baby”, so named by my little man, has become a part of him. An extension. The yin to his yang. The Omega to his Alpha. The Lucy to his Desi. The Baby to his Johnny (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”) The pain to my buttocks.
Sure, “baby” has gotten Jack through some trying times. To name a few: the transition to a bottle, the weaning of his binkie, an ER visit to repair a finger cut, overnighters in an unfamiliar bed. She’s been steadfast and loyal for sure.
But she’s also been the source of some almost sleepless nights. As quickly as she can make my Jack fall fast asleep, her unexplained disappearance has caused the exact opposite effect. We have spent many nights on our hands and knees looking under tables and couch cushions for lost “baby” all the while reassuring our little man while he watches frantically that she will, in fact, reappear. We have given in to a more recent nighttime demand of folding baby into a neat square so that Jack can bounce, yes I said “bounce” his head on her while lulling himself to sleep.
She has become threadbare and what was once pristinely white is now some sort of an off-color beige, despite numerous trips through the wash. I must also disclose that she has taken on some kind of, ahem, odor, that Jack insists is perfectly fine, again, despite numerous and frequent trips through the wash.
I’m ready for “baby” to hit the road. Permanently. In truth, I’d actually like to tie her up to a gigantic cement block and throw her into the Hudson to “swim with the sharks.” Problem: I have no cement blocks, nor do I live in NYC. And I’m not entirely sure that there are even sharks in the Hudson. Nevertheless, she’s becoming more of a problem than a solution and quite honestly I’m tired of Oxy Cleaning the hell out of her every couple of days.
There are two schools of thought here: 1) Let him keep “baby” and he’ll undoubtedly grow out of her himself someday, or 2) Get rid of “baby” and ready myself to be featured in future “it all started when my mother…” weekly therapy sessions.
For now, she stays. The adoration in my baby boy’s eyes for his dingy, synthetic head bouncer is enough to let her remain a permanent fixture in my laundry room for the time being. But the day will undoubtedly come when she will head for bigger and better things. ‘Bigger and better’being the dumpster outside Jack In The Box. Any closer and I’m pretty sure he could sniff her out.