Saturday, November 12, 2011

Security Blankets

This week on the news I heard that Linus’ famous blanket was being added to the National Toy Hall of Fame. According to the museum’s curator the blanket represents how children can take something as functional and ordinary as a blanket and, through their endless imagination, transform it into countless other creations.

"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.

Image Credit

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.

Image Credit

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 Hogwart’s our house, a matador’s cape waved in the face of the bull(ish) twin.

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?
Manic Mother

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 .


Miss Megan said...

Aww, that's perfect! Our girls have had specific "special" blankets since they were born but still aren't incredibly interested in claiming it or dragging it around with them just yet. It's coming though! Super cute!

Tasha said...

SO sweet! I love that last picture of them in front of the couch. The boys were each given a super soft little blanket and each a super soft lamb. Somehow along the way Ryan ended up with both "lammies" and Matthew both "blankies". There are many pictures of Ryan with those lammies in the hospital. The OR staff knew he had to have them and would make sure they were in his hands when he would come out of the OR. I never tried to take their lammies or blankies away as they grew. They just eventually gave them up about 1 or or so ago....they are six!
This was a very sweet post about your growing twins!!!!

Johanna said...

We love our blankies too! We also have embroidered Pottery Barn ones that the twins sleep with every night (ours are pink and green) and I wish all blankets could be that soft! My favorites are from a company called Fill In the Blankie. They are embroidered all the way around the edge with the twins names, birthdates and information, as well as 'twin to' information. So precious!

And I LOVE the pictures of your sweet duo. They are getting so big.

Anne said...

They are so cute! Have a lovely weekend:)

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

In some ways, it makes me a little sad that our girls don't have any kind of "lovey". They love their baby much...but it doesn't seem like a security attachment.

I wonder what the psychology is behind that...and if there's a window during which such attachments are likely to occur.

In any case, what precious pictures of your two with their blankies! Oh, and that definitely brought a tear to my eye to think about them pulling their blankies out one day with their own children. So sweet. :) :)

Kristy said...

I just finished quilting my boy's leftover receiving blankets. I made it big and it's so comfy, all the flannel. That's my favorite blanket so far!

Wendy said...

My Ben and Emma don't have a blanket they carry around but they have several "loveys" that they are very attached to. I love it. I love to hear Ben ask for his "Bo-Bo" and for Emma to tuck her Minnie Mouse and her seahorse under her blanket with her to sleep. So sweet!

Cathy said...

How cute they are!

My son will be 11 soon but our blankets are still great magic carpets/superhero capes/adventure tents for him. :)

Shell said...

My youngest is attached to a blanket that was made for me before my oldest was born. He loves that thing.

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