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When my daughter was about five months old, my sister made her a quilted flannel coverlet, embroidered with her initials on one side and her full first name on the other. That’s her doing her floor routine on top of it when she received it (photo above). I started wrapping her in it as I nursed her to sleep every night, and it’s presence soon became mandatory for sleep and comfort. When she began talking, she called her blanket “Pinkie.” In the last five years, she has never gone to bed without Pinkie. Pinkie has been spilled on, barfed on, peed on, and, consequently washed hundreds and hundreds of times. Pinkie has traveled back and forth across the country, riding through the airport x-ray in one of those plastic tubs; we don’t dare check Pinkie with the baggage. Although I discourage it, Pinkie has been to the park, the library, the market, and the sushi bar. Pinkie has seen better days.
Pinkie is in shreds. Her batting is exposed. Her binding is brown with grime. She has been loved to pieces. Today I realized that Pinkie might not survive one more trip through the wash. I had a talk with Mia about what to do with Pinkie. There were tears. I asked what was so special about Pinkie, and here it what she said:
- She is softer than anything.
- She smells good. (I beg to differ, but it’s not my blanket)
- I have always had Pinkie.
- Aunt Lisa made her for me because she loves me so much.
- I can find her in the dark because I know what she feels like. Nothing feels like Pinkie.
While my daughter gasped in horror, I cut out the one salvageable square of Pinkie. Tonight Mia is sleeping with the scraps, and I will rebind the newer, smaller Pinkie. The scraps will go in the trash tomorrow, but Pinkie lives on (forever, I hope).
What I didn’t say was that I also had a security blanket as a child (my “geetz”), so I, too, am pretty moved by the evolution of Pinkie and have a great deal of empathy for my daughter. Pinkie had her surgery and has a new pink binding. The scraps have been packed away “just in case”. My daughter was quickly sold on the portability of the new wee Pinkie.