Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A lovey by any other name is just as loved

Mallory was three months old, suffering from her first runny nose (at that point we thought it was a terrible monster of a cold…hindsight is much more defined two kids and 4.5 years later).  I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine and felt so bad for my sick little baby girl that I bought her a cute little stuffed elephant.  He was gray with pink ears and a bent trunk. He was adorable.  For the next 7 months he sat in Mallory’s crib, virtually unloved.  And then, seemingly overnight, the attachment happened.   Mr.Elephant (who’s name came about as quickly as the bonding took place) became attached to Mallory’s underarm.  She tucked him in her arm and would toddle all over the house with him.  Seeing that this attachment was about as big as the amount of love Mallory had for a stuffed being, I quickly went out and bought a second (back up) Mr. Elephant. We’ve needed the second elephant on a handful of occasions, example: Excited preschooler bounds out of the building leaving Mr.Elephant all alone in her cubby.  When we return to rescue him, the doors are locked.  A few white lies later and tada Mr. Elephant is home! I made sure to rotate elephants every month or so so that both were similarly worn, because let’s be honest, just like a mother can tell her identical twins apart, little ones can tell when their lovey really isn’t their lovey. 

Over the next three years Mr. Elephant would see most of the world that Mallory saw.  He had a first day of preschool, a first plane ride, a potty training process just like Mallory’s, and most evenings while Brent was in Oklahoma, Mr. Elephant kept his dinner table chair occupied.  I was in love with the idea that she had a lovey.  She, is just plain in love with her elephant.  Her second favorite lovey is Stripes—a soft blanket striped with purple, pink, green and blue.  They both sleep side by side Mallory and whenever she goes away from home for the night, they both best be with her, or the night will be long, sad and cold.

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When I was pregnant with Mikayla I dreamt of what she would fall in love with.  I bought a cozy spotted blanket and pictured her dragging it all over the house.  Mallory and I took a special trip to the store before Mikayla was born to pick out her stuffed animal lovey. We chose a duck.  We named him Ducky and I bought two—just in case.  But let’s be real,  this is Mikayla.  She wouldn’t love a spotted cozy blanket because that would be just too easy.  When Mikayla was really little (maybe 6 months old) we she got in the habit of holding a blanket next to her face while she sucked her fingers to soothe herself to sleep.  Now we are all aware of SIDS and having my teeny 6 month old baby hold a big fluffy spotted blanket right next to her mouth and nose was not going to happen.  So I improvised. I took a polka dot receiving blanket, grabbed a pair of scissors and started cutting.  Out of a normal size blanket I made 9 small thin “rags” for Mikayla to snuggle with.  It isn’t cute, it isn’t very soft and cozy, but it has become Mikayla’s number one lovey.  She loves her ducky and snuggles close to him as well, but she needs her rag.  When she finds one on the floor in her room, or can squeeze her arm through the crib rails, she grabs it, lays down on the floor, sticks her fingers in her mouth and rubs her face with her piece of cloth cut from a cheap thin blanket.  I rotate these about as often as I wash her clothes.  I am nervous for the day when all 9 become shredded little pieces of cotton and string.  But for now, I can see the rag heading on a first plane ride, a public potty tour, a first day of preschool and on and on and on…


Let’s be honest, a lovey, no matter what it looks likes, holds a special place in a little one’s heart.


Tom, Jaime, Kendra said...

Very true!

Sara Sylvester said...

I still have my lovey. It came to college with me. I don't sleep with it. But I Sure do have it still.

Amanda Jean said...

When the day comes that only a couple rags are still in good shape, you will either a-sew them into a nice little blankie with blanket binding on the edges to keep it from fraying, or b-give them to me and I'll do that for you. My "blankie" was just a thin piece of material as well. The first time I left it somewhere, mom cut it in half, so one half could stay home and the other could come with. Once in awhile, I'd lose my "half" and the piece at home would be cut in half once again. This started out as a full-size blanket, and by the time that time came for mom to bind it's edges and make a "fancy" blankie out of what was left, it was just a little piece left. I still have that piece, and love it just as much as I did back then :)