Friday, September 23, 2016

Bye Bye Blankie

To simply and forwardly say it, as parents our goal is to not screw up our children. Of course, very few of us actually manage to make it through our parenting careers without one little screw up. That one thing that a child can look back on and think 'wow, if that hadn't happened to me I wouldn't be this way.' My latest possible screw up is trying to rid my youngest of her blankie habit.

At four she's still rather attached to the now rough looking pink polka dot blanket. It's not as bad as her wanting to carry it around everywhere we go. I put a stop to that a couple of years ago and confine the blankie to our house only (or the car on longer car rides/road trips), but the thing needs to go. Throughout her toddlerhood, the blankie was her comfort. If something or someone upset her, blankie absorbed her tears. If she wasn't feeling well, blankie cuddled. If she was nervous, blankie was in hand. If she had trouble falling asleep at night, blankie covered her. Blankie has been through a lot too.

It's been left in shopping carts, at people's houses, left in the backyard during a rainstorm. It's been peed on, puked on, and plenty of food has fallen on it. But now she's in preschool. Now, she really doesn't need blankie for every little thing....but try telling her that. Blankie is no longer a comfort item, it's hindering growth and development. I'm not sitting here drumming my fingers, wondering what I should do. I know what needs to happen because I've been through this before.

My middle child was quite attached to his "white B" (as he called it). One day I had it with the white B. He held onto that thing for dear life. He cried and whined when I told him "B" had to stay in his bed. He instantly reverted back to acting several years younger whenever B was around. Plus, it caused social issues. If anyone tried to touch B or if he couldn't find B, all hell broke loose. I had it.  One afternoon I yanked B away from him, told him to give it a kiss goodbye, and I put it away in his baby box. Two years later and B is still in that box. B never made a reappearance.

According to the "experts" I shouldn't have done that. Children need comfort items and it doesn't help their self esteem when they're ripped away from them. They should be left to giving it up on their on their own. But what about when it impedes growth? When they rely too heavily on one object for comfort in the wrong manner? Those experts don't have many suggestions for that.

With my middle child, it took me a full year of getting fed up and wondering if tearing his B away would leave lasting scars. This time around I simply do not have the patience to deal with the adjustment period of no blankie around. Until I work up the courage and patience (or just lose my mind from tripping over the damn thing that was left on the floor), I'll simply drink my glass of wine knowing that it won't scar her for life, it just takes getting used to. For both of us.

The blanket that will soon be going bye-bye....just as soon as I work up the courage to withstand the sure to come whines, fusses, and tantrums that come with the adjustment period.