Both my kids are blanket babies. When Big Sister was around six months and we let her cry it out, I put a pink polka-dot soft blanket in her crib. It didn't take long for her to latch on to it. She carried that thing every where she went. And not only did she carry it, but she smelled it. She would play with it with her fingers and every few moments would put it up to her face to get a big sniff. It was almost like a drug and she had to get her fix. There wasn't only a pink blanket though. I had a white one with little yellow giraffes that was the same fabric that I would swap out if I needed to do laundry or something. I never intended them to be around together, but things don't always work out how we intend them, do they? So she became attached to both blankets and smelled them every chance she got.
Mr. Smiley always loved to touch silky things. When he was a little baby I put a silky blanket over him while he was sleeping. He was in one of those swaddle blankets, but his hand came free and he had his little fingers delicately touching that silky blanket. At Christmas time last year I found a silky fabric and made some small squares that he could have to cuddle with. Although he didn't only want to cuddle them, he liked to suck on them. A couple months later he was up in the early hours of the morning and it was a little chilly. I went and got a blanket from his closet and it was all silky on the back and minky dot on the front. I wrapped him in that and we sat on the couch. After that he was hooked on that blanket. He wanted nothing to do with the little silkies that I made him. He just wanted to suck on the corners of his blanket.
Just a few minutes ago it was time for his nap. So I started looking for his blanket and he followed me, looking too. I remember doing the same thing with Big Sister. When those special blankets are found there is so much uninhibited love. Mr. Smiley gets all excited and reaches for his blanket and sometimes will make a happy sighing noise as he hugs it because this blanket has filled and satisfied that inner desire that he had.
I love how babies and small children love--and show love--so uninhibitedly. When Daddy comes home, they run to him and wrap their little arms around him. When I pick Big Sister up from school she runs to me and right away starts chattering about her day. I wish that we didn't lose this as we grow up. We start worrying about whether people like us, or we get embarrassed about showing love to our parents and we start being a little more self conscious about things that we love for fear people will tease us. I was just struck this morning by the pure joy that was in Mr. Smiley's face when he was reunited with his blanket. He grabbed it, shoved it in his mouth and laid down in his crib to sleep completely satisfied. I hope that I can be more like him and show my love with much less reservation and hesitancy. May we all love with much less restraint.