Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daytime Nap, Nighttime Nap

For nearly four years, Curly Miss and her Nap, that is to say her security blanket, or comfort object or whatever you like to call it, have been pretty much inseparable. She totes the thing around with her everywhere, hugging it, sniffing it, wrapping up in it, forgetting it and dragging it on the ground. Just the other day it got caught under the wheels of the stroller and ground into the mud, necessitating an instant trip through the washing machine.

When I was little I was exactly the same way. My mom sewed a little green terry-cloth pillow and that green pillow went everywhere with me. I loved the way it smelled, the way it felt against my face. One of my earliest and most traumatic memories is when my dad, with a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, told me I must put my green pillow on my bed and never carry it around but only have it at night time. He told me this devastating news on my fourth birthday, thus completely ruining the happy event and sending me into secret mourning for weeks.

Because I remember this abrupt announcement with such lifelong loathing, I decided Curly Miss's transition needs to be more gradual. My comfort object was complicated by the fact of my thumb-sucking, a habit my dad was eager to break, but Curly Miss doesn't suck her thumb, she just carries the Nap around with her. Still, she's getting old enough and active enough that I keep expecting her to declare it a hassle and leave it at home.

She never has so I decided to try an alternative plan. When I cut out the pieces for her fleece jacket, I cut out an eight-inch square piece with Mater (the character from Cars) smack in the middle of it. Then I gave it to Curly Miss explaining that if she wished it could be a daytime Nap. I really didn't expect it to fly. After all, it wasn't THE NAP and did not have the correct texture and smell at all, but I gave her the idea and the choice.

To my utter astonishment she readily agreed and declared her Nap henceforth only her "Nighttime Nap". She put it up on her bed of her own volition and for two days has been carrying around the square of fleece, small enough to be easily tucked into a pocket. I think even she is enjoying the small size and convenience of her "Mater Nap" which I found thusly the other day:

Since I left it up to her, I think we avoided having to lay down the law on when to stop toting the Nap around. Due to my aforementioned trauma, I was prepared to let her carry it with her till high school if need be, but I have to say I was getting pretty tired of the darn thing! I much prefer the smaller version we now use. Now if only we can keep from forgetting it various places!!!

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