Lovies. Lots of kids have them. Heck, lots of adults have them. My cabbage patch kid slept with me through college – though I could survive a night without him, unlike most kids. To some children its the pacifier, a doll or stuffed animal, a blanket, a toy. For Buggy – it is a blanket.
I can’t remember exactly when he became so attached, but it was early. It’s a thick, fuzzy, blue blanket. A gift from a former student. I’m sure I started using it over his first winter to keep him warm. He found that it served a much higher purpose. A much smellier and more disgusting purpose.
Buggy doesn’t just rub the soft fuzziness of his “bwanky”, he sucks the heck out of that fuzziness. Yes, sucks. He wads up a big piece, shoves it in his mouth, and gnaws, sucks, or something similar that produces lots of saliva. When that part of the blanket no longer pleases him, he discards, finds a new patch, and goes to town. The blanket is soaked early on in the night, often remaining in his mouth throughout his entire 11-12 hours of sleep. He can not or will not sleep without it.
I don’t know if you have ever smelled a blanket drenched in saliva, but I don’t advise that you run out and do so for the sake of understanding. Trust me when I say, it is nasty. In the beginning, there was one blanket. One horrible smelling blanket that soaked in the saliva for a week straight before getting a good rinse.
After a few times of forgetting to throw the wash in the dryer (with the beloved blanket a part of the laundry batch) before nap or bedtime, I got smart and found 2 more blankets vastly similar to the original. The 3 blankets rotate throughout the week and laundry. If I could bring myself to spend the money (they are $15-$20 each) I’d have one for each day of the week. But alas, there are just 3.
Now that the blankets have gone through almost 3 good years of use, things have changed. One night of love, the entire room wreaks of the stench. And the stench is very close to old poop in a diaper (if you have yet to experience that smell, please don’t try, you will know it one day – or have experienced it in Kindergarten with the kid that pooped his pants and it took a few hours to discover who did it).
Something new has developed though. On the day I rotate “Old Smeller” for a freshly laundered clone, I get a bit of a protest.
Buggy smells the newer blanket.
Buggy: I don’t want this one.
Me: Why not? It’s your blanky.
Buggy: I want the dirty one.
Me: (with a look of disgust on my face – because I can’t believe he just said that) It’s the same as the dirty one, just clean.
Buggy: I want the dirty one! I DON’T WANT THIS ONE!
(Throws blanket on the floor)
Me: Goodnight! (Quickly exit room)
Why, oh why, does my son prefer the bacteria infested stink of a saliva soaked blanket? And how long will this love last?