"Babe, you will have wash Ainsley's blanket, it got some mud on it and is a little wet." Panic mode sets in. Those are words that strike fear in my heart, not only because now I have to do laundry, but mostly because of the impending tantrum that is soon to ensue. Ainsley takes her blanket everywhere. Linus ain't got nothing on this kid. As I grab the blanket and trudge down the stairs to the wash machine, all I hear at the top is Pippa screaming bloody murder, as if she has just watched me take the scissors to her beloved blanky. And it only gets worse from there. For forty minutes all I hear in "my blanket, my BLANKET"! Even her sister is trying to calm her down; bribes are just a pipe dream at this point. I swaddle her and wrap her in her "monkey" (because we have 3 blankets for her now, not just one). This only pisses her off more and I hang on for dear life while she rolls around like a gator in a rope. Pretty soon, there are no tears left and any chance for a nap has clearly flown right out the window. The only thing left to do is walk back down the damn stairs and throw the blanket in the dryer. I only redeem myself the third time I come up the stairs holding out her blanket like an olive branch or a white flag of surrender. She takes her blanket, walks off happy as a clam, and leaves me to wonder what the hell kind of monster I have created.
And I know I am not the only mom that has to deal with their child's irrational need for some source of security. Our oldest daughter was a binky-baby; we lived in constant fear of losing or having one of those silicone suckers get a whole in it. It was a bittersweet day when I dug a hole in the back yard and told her to round up every remaining pacifier on the property and put it in the hole. Two days later, she could finally live without it. My best friend is currently facing the same issue with her little girl; all I can do is pray that God provides her patience and good humor because she sure the hell is going to need a few extra good virtues for a while!
I don't think there is a person in this world whose mom couldn't tell a story about their "bubby bear" whose hair was completely stroked off, or the wash- cloth horsie that stunk so bad because their kid sucked on it all the time and finally had a bitter demise in the wash machine. Or the blankets that can't be washed, the dollies covered in dirt and food and Lord-knows-what-else, and the thumbs that were dipped in hot sauce a time or two to help speed the detachment process along. So to all you mommies and daddies out there, just remember you aren't alone. Someday you will be able to laugh about the meltdowns and the tyrannical behavior of your two- or three- year old. But for now, just roll with it. Because even though it is it is so tempting to throw all that crap into a pellet stove and watch it burn, there really is nothing sweeter than watching your little one take that clean blanket under her arm and drag out to couch and curl up with it like there is no tomorrow. It really is the little things.