"I'm right here, Baby," I said reassuringly.
"No. Ma-Mee!" She looked up at me, tears welling up in her big, blue eyes. My heart was gripped by that helpless feeling any mother hates to encounter.
I picked her up and tried to cuddle her, but she just kept crying, "Ma-Mee!" Finally, it occurred to me that as of late, Alex had been quite attached to the cloth diapers I used as burp cloths for her baby brother. I put her down momentarily and went to fetch one. As she saw me enter the room with it, her tears dried up, her eyes lit up, and a smile of delight spread across her face.
"Ma-Mee!" she cried happily, taking it from me.
And that is how the Security Blanket first entered our home. Three of 4 of the kids have had one. Jacob is the only one who never became attached, though because of his shy nature seemed like the one who would be best suited to cuddling a blankie for comfort.
What's funny is that none of the kids' security blankets were ever called "blankies". At least at first. Alex of course called hers "Ma-Mee", which I've never figured out unless she found her blankie to be some sort of substitution for "Mommy". She was the easiest to provide blankies for because it seemed in those days we had a never-ending supply of cloth diapers (which we used only as burp cloths, not diapers); keeping enough laundered to serve as both burp cloth and security blankets was another story, especially with a colicky baby.
It was a little more difficult to ensure Michael had his "bappy" always on hand. He took to a blue and white flannel blanket that was given to him as a baby gift. At one point we had two. When one was lost, we cut the remaining one in half so we would always have one for the house and one for the car.
Thankfully, Audrey only needs hers in bed. And, yes, I know she is 5 1/2; it is probably high time for her to give up her blankie, but she's just so cute with it. Although she now calls it her blankie, at first she dubbed it her "My". I don't know where that came from, and as I recall, we went through a similar situation as with Alex in discovering a "My" was her blankie.
Audrey's My is actually a blanket Alex received as a baby gift, and unfortunately, though I have searched and searched, I cannot find a duplicate. Because there is only one, her My has become well, well...loved. Almost daily, I cut stray strings from her blankie, and consequently, there is less and less My everyday.
Perhaps because her My is disappearing, Audrey has also become quite attached to Bear. Bear was her first gift in the hospital from her adoring daddy and siblings. Bear is very loved as well, but at least he has all of his limbs.
I know soon my last little baby will move on from blankies and stuffed bears to make-up and boyfriends. I treasure each evening when I tuck her in, feel her sweet little arms around my neck, hear her tell me she loves me, and then kiss her as she clutches her My and Bear to her chest.