Thursday, March 29, 2012

Monkey Business

Blankie. Lovey. Wubby. Security Blanket. "Transitional Object".

Around here, he just goes by Monkey.

Or "Muh-Hee" as Jett calls him.

Or "Ooooo oooooo, eeeeee, eeeee", when Jett is panicked & needs Monkey RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.

If you've been around my blog for more than a minute, chances are you've noticed a certain blue friend my Jett Jett has clutched in his hands at all times. And on the rare occasion you don't see Monkey in some of my photos, attached snugly to Jett's side, you can bet Monkey isn't very many feet away. This kid doesn't let Monkey out of his sight. Ever.

Monkey gets dragged along with us to the grocery store, Target, Grandma's house, the doctor's office, church, you name it...he comes along for the ride. We don't step foot out of this house without Monkey in tow & often times I feel like I may lose my mind trying to safeguard with my life this 8x8 piece of fabric that has become such a part of my little boy. {I do set some limitations into place. Monkey is allowed to join us for every car ride, but when it comes to going inside stores, Monkey has to stay in the car for a "nap". This isn't to wean Jett from Monkey or cause him to not be so attached, but more for the purpose of not having to look after TWO children while I'm out & about. Now, things like church, doctor's appointments, any place or instance that adds stress or anxiety or where Jared & I won't be with Jett, of course Monkey gets to tag along. Jett knows the drill & has figured out exactly when & where Monkey gets come along. Now, that doesn't stop him from asking me a trillion times during my grocery shopping about Monkey, but I just reassure him a trillion times that Monkey is in the car & just fine.}

{There have been a couple of instances where Monkey has gone MIA & let me tell you, I never knew I was capable of such sheer panic over a stuffed rattly, fuzzy, silky, blanket.} 

Much research has been done on the concept of children & their attachments to some sort of transitional object & all findings conclude the same answer--that not only are these attachments completely normal, they are actually quite healthy for a little one. Early bonds formed with raggedy stuffed animals, tatty blankets, & fraying friends lay the foundation in the development of healthy & happy relationships throughout a child's entire life. 

Music to this momma's ears! Because we love us some Monkey & completely attached, we are. 

Sweet little side note: When I worked as a nanny for my four boys, they too, carried around with them little monkey blankies. When I was pregnant with Jett, the boys surprised me one afternoon with their very own baby shower for me. They had chosen little gifts that would be sweet reminders of my days of taking care of them. Some of those gifts included: an "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" book, a pair of Rock & Republic jeans & a brand new identical-to-the-one-they-carried soft, cuddly, Monkey blankie. Ahh, the sentimental stuff gets me every time.

Jared asked me one morning as we carted Jett & Monkey into church with us, if we would take Monkey away at some point in the future. The very thought brought a hiccup to my heart.

Monkey has been around since before Jett Jett entered into this world. Monkey became a sense of security for my baby when he was learning to sleep in his crib. Monkey was clutched tightly in my toddler's fist as he received those dreaded immunizations. Monkey helps to calm tears when my Jett Jett is transitioning to a new Sunday school class at church.

Monkey has become much more than just a tatty, worn, stuffed blankie that doesn't get thrown in the wash near enough. He has become a picture of my child's growing & developing identity. He is the essence of a tender little boy's childhood. In the eyes of my little boy, Monkey is an extension of his momma & daddy who absolutely adore him.  Monkey brings a soothing comfort to my little boy's life that aids in making him the loving, caring, affectionate little guy that he is growing up to be.

So my answer to Jared's question about taking Monkey away? Never. 

One of these days, when Jett is ready, he'll toss Monkey aside on his own. He'll grab his baseball glove & he'll head out the door for a game of catch with his buddies . 

And if I know myself the way I think I do...I will shed tears. I will scoop Monkey up, give him his final washing, & I'll tuck him away neatly into a box of keepsakes labeled "Jett's". 

But never will I forget our Monkey Business days.

A quote I love from The Velveteen Rabbit:

Real isn't how you are made.
It's a thing that happens to you.
When a child loves you for a long, long time, 
not just to play with, 
but REALLY loves you,
then you become real.

No comments:

Post a Comment