My husband and I are having a disagreement over our daughter’s security blanket. “Caroline” has had blankie since birth and the wear and tear on it makes this fact quite evident. I wash her blanket at least once a week, but the thing is permanently stained and has several holes that can no longer be darned. I want to throw the thing out, but my husband is firmly set against it and tells me that I need to find a better way to clean it and “preserve” it. I have suggested that we “lose” blankie while at the grocery store or shopping center or even while on vacation, but he is firmly set against my plan and insists that Caroline will give up her blanket when she is ready.
Tazi, my daughter is five and a half years old and will be starting first grade in the fall. She went to half-day kindergarten and was able to live without blankie through that! She will be in school for a full-day starting next month. I say this is the perfect time for her blankie to find its way into the garbage pickup. I have talked to Caroline about ditching the blanket, but she only holds onto it tighter, so an intervention seems to be what is needed and I am getting no support from her father. Am I being too strict, as my husband claims, or is he being too soft?
Dear Southwest Mom:
While blankie sounds disgusting, believe it or not this is how animals (including humans) form attachments to stuff. For a creature with a superior sense of smell – such a moi and my fellow felines – an unwashed blanket smells like us and the humans and home we love; it provides us with a sense of belonging. The stains on your daughter’s blanket form a history of her short memory and give her a sense of security in unfamiliar places and situations. To rip this away from her without warning would be callous; however, she is reaching an age where she should naturally want to shed the blanket. If she doesn’t do it soon (as in by the time of her first slumber party) an intervention may be necessary.
Here is an idea that may work for you: You say that the blanket’s holes are beyond darning, so don’t do it. Allow the holes to get larger and eventually the blanket will tear in half - on its own or with a little assistance from the washing machine (hint, hint). When blankie tears, tell Caroline that she needs to choose which half she wants to keep (you can help this decision process by making sure one half is much more ragged and nasty than the other). The half Caroline does not keep gets thrown away. Repeat the process as necessary (once every few weeks so as not to arouse her suspicions). Eventually, blankie will be a pocket-sized square that she can tuck inside her coat. Surely you cannot object to that?
My bigger concern is your husband’s attitude; by outright overruling you and refusing to compromise he is disrespecting you as his wife and partner and treating you like another child. I have no idea if he is like this in other areas of your marriage or just when it comes to your daughter, but try not to lose your tenacity; you are going to need it in the coming years.
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.