On Live from the Poundstone Institute a few weeks ago, they talked about a 2010 survey that said 35% of adults in Britain sleep with a teddy bear or other comfort object. There was some giggling. All I thought was, only 35%? What’s wrong with people?
The second-longest relationship in my nearly 40 years of life is with my baby blanky (the longest being with, of course, my mother). My Oma (grandma, my dad’s mom) made it for me before I was born. Here she is finishing it (she’s on the right):
I have slept with my blanky nearly every night of my life. The only nights I did not were when I was a child and my parents would pack it for me so I could go to my grandparents’ houses, and I’d pull it out of my packed bag to drag it around the house and then forget to grab it again. I still remember just sobbing when my grandma suggested I sleep with a towel in place of my absent blanky. Unacceptable.
My blanky went with me to college. My blanky traveled around England and Sweden with me. It was at the hospital with me when Callum was born. Every night, I sleep with it tucked under my head. When I’m sick, I still drag it around the house with me. I like to put it in the freezer and then hold it to my head when I have migraines. The ultimate show of my love for Callum is that I have allowed him to snuggle with it in bed at various points (though I always go back in and snag it once he’s sleeping). The dogs pretty much do whatever they want in this house, but I absolutely draw the line at Billy trying to nest in my blanky, which he will try to do the second he spies it.
In my teen years, Oma would say she fully expected me to drag that thing down the aisle if I got married. She passed away about a year ago, but right up until the end she noted, nearly every time I talked to her or saw her, that she would’ve made that blanket out of something stronger if she knew I’d still be sleeping with it as a grown adult.
My blanky is still in one piece. Matthew’s mom added ribbon around the edges probably 15 years ago or more to help preserve it. Most of the little animal appliques have come off. I have them in a box. I am not a particularly sentimental person. I don’t put much emotional value on things. After my dad died, I only took one thing to remember him—a tiny metal figure of someone playing the trombone. But my blanky… my blanky is different. It kind of feels like that tissue paper-thin thing is the repository of my childhood, my family, my emotions, my everything. Whenever I hear stories of some parents taking away their kid’s blanky (or whatever other lovely they have), I think, YOU MONSTERS. Also, wtf? Who cares if your kid likes to sleep with a blanket?
This is what my beloved blanket looks like these days. I’d say it’s pretty well preserved for being almost 40.
Do you sleep with a blanket or special stuffy? I want to know. I need to know who the cool kids are. Tell me on Facebook or on Twitter!