My youngest daughter is attached to a blanket that she has named Blankie Ellie (because it is covered in elephants). This blanket goes with her just about anywhere, and she refuses to sleep without it.
It is her comfort, her rock, her lovey.
It is the one thing that when taken away will shake her core if we need to discipline her.
Typically when it gets taken away, she will adjust her attitude and earn it back. But on this one fateful evening…
We had a tough couple of days. My routine had been adjusted from working from home to needing to be in the office early. Amelia had to be at daycare much earlier than normal and hadn’t seen me two evenings in a row. The morning drop off went easy. I was actually surprised with how well it went.
When I came home, my husband gave me the daily rundown. Amelia struggled at daycare being nice to her friends and had a full meltdown – most likely because of the big adjustment in our week’s routine. Blankie and her stuffed animal of choice were taken away for the evening.
She and I talked through what had happened, and I saw how remorseful she was. By the time bedtime rolled around she had done a great job of being good and listening. I gave her blankie back to her…
The world shifted…
Bedtime was a nightmare.
She wasn’t listening and was talking back. I watched her lose her mind over a simple request and realized while she may have been remorseful and upset about being mean to her friends, she still hadn’t fully learned her lesson.
And away blankie went. Again. For the rest of the night.
As I laid in bed trying to go to sleep, I listened to her whimpering about needing her blanket (because ya know, she still sleeps in our room). She cried for over an hour, continuing to ask for her blankie.
It took all my mom self-control to not give in.
You all know what I am talking about. That voice inside your head that says “stand strong! The child will survive without her blanket”. Each time she spoke up, each time I had to tell her to go to sleep, that strong voice and its weaker sibling (the one that tells you to give in) kept pushing me toward the best decision.
She needed to learn her lesson and me giving in wasn’t going to solve anything. I kept reminding her that she can sleep without blankie, that blankie was safe, and she could have blankie in the morning. She needed to go to sleep without it tonight. She would be fine.
Eventually she crashed. Exhausted, tears still fresh on her cheeks. Thumb firmly planted in her mouth.
When she woke in the morning, her first request was blankie.
We talked again about how important it is to listen, to follow rules, and to not disobey. So far, she understands. She knows blankie will be tucked away again if she doesn’t listen.
I do fear the day that her lovey falls apart or goes missing. I am not sure what we will do. Until then, we will love our lovey, and she will do her best to not have Blankie Ellie taken away again.