Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Blankie - Surviving the Night

It finally happened. Alex accidentally left his precious blue blankie at school. You see, sometimes he actually naps at school and needs it to sleep with. We didn't realize, until it was bedtime, that the blankie had been left. And we know that nobody messes with Alex's blankie when it is time to sleep.

Alex finds the blanket very comforting...

...when needing eyebrow stitches social situations

...while picnicking at The Huntington

...when his geeky parents make him watch a rocket launch at 4am

...when attending the tour of California bicycle race

Alex even prefers it over hugs of his brother for comfort.
So, what did we do Thursday night, the night of no blankie? Well, we made a big production of looking everywhere for the blankie. We explained things to Alex when he suggested that we go back to school to get it, letting him know that school was closed and we didn't have a key and none of his teachers were there. We even offered him his original blankie, which he also would stick in his mouth for sleeping...

At a wedding in NYC

Much to our surprise, Alex accepted these efforts. We got him cuddled in a nest of other blankets and pillows and he fell asleep. However, he did wake up at 3:30am, not terribly happy, but went back to bed after about having about 4 different demands fulfilled. We were very glad that the next day, he found his blankie at school and brought it home.

Now you may wonder, why haven't we weaned Alex of his blankie? Certainty if Alex had a habit of sucking his thumb, using a pacifier, or carrying an animal everywhere with him, we would implement some sort of training regimen, right? I mean, we don't even take the kids places in strollers anymore or give them sippy cups, right? Why not figure out a way to get rid of this remnant from being a baby, nursing on a blanket?

The reason is simply sleep. Sure, he probably doesn't need the blanket anymore for sleep, but, Alex was such a good sleeper and great at self soothing (or blankie soothing, that Dan and I felt almost like real people that first year after he was born. We got a slightly adequate amount of sleep. This is in contract to the Will year where he didn't sleep through the night, any of the nights, until he was 9 months old. So, if Alex wants his blankie, it is his reward for being an excellent sleeper in those early months. It is indeed something priceless.