The birth of a new baby is always exciting and filled with anticipation. Parents-to-be rush out to buy all the things they need (and many they don't need) for their pending arrival. Most babies enter the world with their very own collection of receiving blankets to help keep baby warm and snuggly. In fact, receiving blankets fall fairly close to the top of things that new parents actually need to have. (There are many things on that list that parents simply do not need. For a complete list of what Mom thinks is actually necessary for new babies, go here.)
Like most parents, when I was expecting Kira I bought new receiving blankets. I bought two different packs of blankets, each with different patterns. I had hoped that Kira would not attach to any one blanket. Just in case, though, I bought several of each pattern for those first blankets. (Sheep and Blueberry were the first two blanket patterns that we used when she was born.)
As Kira grew, we added other patterns to our collection. I was careful to rotate the blankets frequently so they would stay clean. I had hopes that this system of rotation would also prevent any over attachments to specific patterns. She definitely had a preference for the type of blanket she used, but for a while she was content with any blanket as long as it was the right fabric.
Eventually Kira settled on a few select patterns that she favored over all the others. This wasn't too distressing because she chose 5 or 6 different patterns as her preference. We had plenty of each pattern and we were able to rotate these favored blankets reasonably well in order to maintain their cleanliness and to keep her from being too attached to just one. After all, blankets do not last forever.
More time passed. Kira definitely attached to her blankets, requiring a blanket to go everywhere. Woe be unto the parent who failed to take a blanket when they left the house. Even the briefest trip would turn ugly if there was no blanket in the car. At this point, she began to develop her strong preferences and it became clear that not just any blanket would do. (I made it a point to keep a couple of spare blankets in the storage compartment of my car just in case I rushed out of the house without one of those treasured blankets. This practice saved me from considerable frustration more than once.)
When Kira was about 18 months, my brother took her blanket from her and teased her with it. She wanted it back. While she was begging for her blanket, he held his fist up and shook it at her, telling her he was going to give her a beating. ("I'm gonna give you a beatin'...I'm gonna give you a beatin'.") Then, after a few short moments of teasing her with the blanket, he gave it back to her.
From that day forward we no longer had blankets in our house. Instead, Kira had Beatins. Even now, at the ripe old age of 5, Kira does not have blankets - she has Beatins.
Well, here we are 5 years later and it is easy to say that I did everything exactly right. I had multiple patterns of blankets. I rotated the patterns regularly. I tried to avoid any over attachment to just one of those patterns. I had several blankets of the same favored patterns. I did everything right.
I'm down to TWO Blueberry Beatins and ONE Sheep Beatin. I spend hours upon hours browsing the world of Ebay in hopes that somebody in the world will try to sell their receiving blankets that happen to have the exact same pattern as the favored ones in my house. I did get lucky about a year and a half ago when some blessed soul was selling several of the Sheep Beatins. I was SO excited to find those blankets on Ebay. I won that bid... then contacted the seller and asked her nicely to send me only the 4 blankets out of her set of 20 because I did not need the rest of them. She kindly sent me only the ones I wanted for a reduced shipping cost, then re-listed the rest and made more money.
The Sheep Beatins arrived in pristine condition. In fact, they appeared to have never been used. Kira rejected them immediately because they were not REAL Sheep Beatins. They were SOFT Sheep Beatins. I tried to explain to her that they just needed to be loved. She occasionally snuggles with one of those, but not often. She definitely prefers the one she has had since she was born.
Now... remember that I told you I have TWO Blueberry Beatins. Blueberry is definitely the MOST favorite Beatin in the house. Blueberry is always the highest choice. When Blueberry is busy taking a bath, Kira will often wait impatiently and ask "How much longer?" or "Is the dryer done, yet?" We try to wash Blueberry when Kira isn't here or when she's in bed with a different Beatin just to avoid the aggravation of having her go on and on about him taking a bath. (Yes - it's a "him".... and Sheep is a "her"... we are regularly reminded that one is a boy and one is a girl.)
When we moved a year and a half ago, we had THREE Blueberries. Somewhere during the move, one of the Blueberries disappeared. Try though we might, we have been unable to unearth the missing Blueberry.
So I find myself searching hour after hour in hopes of finding that one special blanket listed on Ebay. I think it was a Carter brand, but can't recall. (If you take the tags off, be sure to keep one somewhere so it will be easier later to try and locate extras.) As of yet, I have found NO Blueberries in Ebay Land. Believe me, if Blueberries were to show up on Ebay, I WOULD WIN THAT AUCTION!!!
I am certain that somewhere out there is some wonderful person who has a Blueberry or two stashed away at their house just sitting in a box somewhere. Somebody else bought those blankets... In my never ending search, I'm going to do something that you may never see me do again.
Here's a picture. If you happen to know somebody who has a blanket like this, ask them to contact me. Kira shows no sign of being over her blanket attachments any time soon and I would really love to locate an extra Blueberry Beatin (or fifty...).