"Every now and again we like to shake things up, remind folks there's play experiences that happen purely creatively ... rather than coming with rules, a path, a backstory you feel constrained into," said Christopher Bensch, the Rochester museum's chief curator.
"Blankets have been keeping people warm for centuries, but they've also been heating up kids' imaginations," serving as magic carpets and superhero capes, a peek-a-boo veil, a chair-draped fortress or "an island of safety surrounded by sea monsters."
Hearing this story reminded me of how the babies have recently become so attached to the beautiful baby blankets they’ve had since they were born.
While I was pregnant, I bought a pink blanket and a blue blanket from Pottery Barn. My intention was to have them monogrammed and to bring the babies home in those blankets—blankets that would then become keepsakes for them to pass onto their children. It didn’t happen (long story), but we are happy to say those blankets eventually made their way back to our arms, and the babies enjoyed many nights of warmth from them.
Emily and Drew also received two beautiful Little Giraffe blankets with their initials monogrammed in the corner. These special blankets were gifts from our friends, The McConaughys.
Each night since then we have put the babies to sleep with their blankets, with whichever blanket was closest. When they started daycare in September and needed a blanket for nap time, I sent their Pottery Barn blankets with them. I wanted them to have something soft and familiar.
Since then, each night they go to bed with their Little Giraffe blankets, and recently, they have clung to them as we take them out of their cribs and head downstairs for breakfast. If we try to leave the blankets behind, they make it clear what they want.
While we get breakfast ready, they walk around the living room, dragging their blankies behind them. Some mornings Drew will even want to keep his in his lap while he eats. Through the day or when they get home from daycare, they grab their blankets and carry them from room to room. Drew is more attached than Emily, so we have taken to calling him “Linus.”
It’s interesting to see how these blankets have become so important to them. I haven’t researched it yet, but I would guess this new-found attachment to their blankets is developmental in nature. At a time when they are testing their independence, they also need to feel attachment and security. When mommy or daddy’s arms or laps are unavailable, the blankets are soft alternatives.
In the coming months, I am sure these blankets will be re-purposed for more adventures: a tent in the backwoods of the bonus room, a boat drifting in the kitchen sea, a cloak of invisibility for creeping around
Everyone told me not to register for blankets-- that I would get plenty of them anyway. Given how special a quality blanket has become for the babies, I would now tell other moms-to-be to register for a nice blanket. Durable, keepsake quality blankets will now become a standard on my gift giving list. While some of these blankets can be expensive, I think this is an item that warrants the extra money.
You want a blanket durable enough to handle endless washes, tug-of-war matches, and flights of fancy while maintaining enough thread to keep it all together so one day your child will open a memory box, pull out a well-loved, slightly stained blanket, and hand it to his baby for another childhood of adventures.
And, that's why baby blankets make my Mama Loves for the week. Do you have a favorite brand of baby blankets?
This Saturday, I am dedicating my “Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday” selection to the American soldiers, who provide us all with a daily security blanket .