Deanna asked for a picture of Shirt, and I’m happy to oblige.
Michael, on the other hand, was pretty ticked at me for taking Shirt away from him for the 30 seconds it took to snap the picture.
She also asked where Shirt came from. Shirt was purchased at Motherhood Maternity while I was pregnant with Michael. I had several different colors, but I liked the feel of the blue one the best, so I continued to wear it to bed after Michael was born.
But, that doesn’t explain how it went from being PJs for me to being Michael’s most beloved possession. Two things contributed to that. The first thing was this so called “brilliant” idea that I got from one of those smug and self righteous sleep Nazis. I’m not sure which one. I’ve banished all of those books for being COMPLETELY USELESS. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that Dr. Weissbluth’s book (or whatever the evil man’s name is) because I never made it through his book. What kind of sick person writes a nine thousand page book for an exhausted parent to read in the three seconds they have everyday to read? Dude, I needed a Power Point presentation, not a dissertation.
Anyway, one of those books mentioned leaving an object that smells like you in the crib with your baby. It would provide comfort and help the child settle himself if he awoke in the middle of the night. It seemed like a stretch to me, but why not? What harm could it do? When Michael hit his 9 month sleep regression and refused to sleep EVER, I got desperate. One night I just really needed him to let me lay him in the crib and go to sleep so I stripped off my shirt and snuggled it up next to his nose. If it had worked, I wouldn’t mind the fact that my 2.5 year old son now carries around an old tee shirt, but it didn’t. He woke up later that night - and the next night, and the next night, and the next night. Well, being exhausted, I just sort of left the shirt in the crib with his teddy and his plush blanky and all the other comfort objects that didn’t work. I’d just sort of tuck it up near his chin hoping that one night it would work.
The second contributing factor is Karma. I’m convinced that this is the power that lead to Michael eventually latching onto Shirt and making it his lovey of choice. See, it’s possible that maybe I had a blanky when I was little, and maybe my poor parents were forced to turn around on many trips just to pick up said blanky that I could not possibly live without. It seems only fair that I now have to do the same exact thing for Michael. My mom has gotten more than a few giggles out of it, I’m sure.
But, that’s not all that Karma has done. Having a lovey is bad enough, but having to deal with Shirt is even worse. Think about it. You see kids with bears and blankets all of the time. Sure, some older folks look at you funny for letting a – GASP - two year old carry something like that around. But, everyone looks at you funny when they realize your kid is carrying around a dirty old tee shirt. And at this point, that’s what Shirt is, a dirty old tee shirt.
Why do I deserve the added punishment of the dirty old tee shirt? Well, it may have something to do with my long term relationship with my blanky. See, I never really abandoned Blanky as a child. Blanky went to college with me. And – I cannot believe I’m writing this – when Blanky started falling apart, I asked my mom to make me a new one. It’s possible that I may still have Blanky and that poor Andy is subjected to having the stinky thing in bed with us. I think I am suffering the wrath of Karma because of that.
Which, brings me to what Maria asked about. The smelling thing. This is something that is very difficult to describe to someone that has never had a stinky lovey, but for those of us that have, the smell is the best part. It probably has something to do with the olfactory system and soothing smells. The human sense of smell is a very powerful sense, and it can trigger memories and emotions. My theory is that the smell is so closely related to the feeling of being comforted that it becomes an integral part of the lovey’s essence. So, while it stinks to everyone else, it’s the most wonderful smell to the user. (I’m really shoveling it today, aren’t I?)
So, that is the story of Shirt.
Oh, and several people mentioned that Michael looked sick in the picture yesterday. He wasn’t. Andy took that picture when we were on vacation. Michael had just woken up, and was chillin’ in front of the TV.
This is what Michael looks like when he’s sick. This was taken on Sunday afternoon after he had thrown up and started to run a fever. When we left him, he was sitting up. However, while we were eating dinner, he must have slumped over and didn’t have the energy to sit up again. He looked so pathetic that I just had to snap a picture of him before making him comfortable again. (Nice huh?) He’s doing much better now.