I have always been fascinated with the bond that children can have with a ‘stuffie’ or a blanket… whatever their ‘thing’ is.
When I was young, I had many many stuffed animals, but none of them ever had that extra special place with me. I loved each of them equally and allowed each of them to spend at least one night with me – just to be fair, and be sure that they were equally loved. Even at a young age, I wanted to be sure to be fair with everyone…
My cousin had a blanket that she took everywhere. I never understood why. What was so special about a ratty old blanket that looks like it’s seen far better days. Surely she would leave it home this time when she came to visit, but no – she would walk in the door, blanket tucked gently on top of her bookbag under the pillow that always accompanied it.
But I have to say, I was a bit jealous.
Peanut didn’t have anything special to him. He was a lot like me – he plays with most of his toys equally and while he tends to have a special stuffed dog that he sleeps with (sometimes, cuz now he’s “too old for that” ) he has never had a real attraction to one toy in particular.
Monster is another story. When he was a baby, he refused to be more than 20 feet away from me at any given time. He was a growth on my hip and wouldn’t go to anyone else…which I loved… HOWEVER – I paid for it when it came time to go to daycare. I tried to do the right thing… wean him (and myself) into it by taking him for a few hours once or twice a week while I got groceries or did some running around… you know… get him used to the routine.
Luckily, my best friend, S, was the person who was going to be watching the kiddos when I went back to work. This made it a bit more comfortable for her to call me 2 hours after I dropped him off and say “ok, you need to come back because he won’t stop crying… and I mean crying”
I would, of course, rush to her house, scoop up my little baby who would quiet and fall fast asleep on my shoulder the moment he was safe in my arms. Did I feel like Supermom? Yes, but I also felt trapped… a situation I had put myself in by not exposing him to other people very often. That weight of guilt for leaving my child who was reaching out to me with a panicked look in his eye like I was walking out the door and never coming back. And when I did come back, seeing those little cheeks streaked with tears and flushed with the obvious anguish that he felt watching me leave. No wonder so many mother’s decide to stay home. That was painful.
The suggestion was made by S that I maybe try ‘association’ with Monster, I was all over that… try and find something soft and cuddly that would have mom’s smell and remind him of me when he wasn’t with me.
Deedle is half teddy, half blanket. He has buttery soft satin along the bottom hem of the blanket portion and a satin bow tied around his neck. When I would rock and snuggle with Monster, I would tuck Deedle between us and rub the satin on his cheek. Monster would start to coo with a sound that went sort of like “deeedleeeedlleeeeddlll’ thereby inspiring the name Deedle.
The bond that Monster has with Deedle is incredible. He stays at my house (his choice – because his father has a dog and he is worried that Deedle will become a playtoy for it) so when we get home and Monster takes his school bag into his bedroom and sees Deedle on his pillow, he picks him up and snuggles him. Just like this:
Every single time.
So now I get why my cousin carried that blanket around.
It was her Deedle… and she loved it.