Friday, January 16, 2009

Lovey Fail

Until recently, I was an unmitigated failure in the "lovey" department.

I guess I just assumed that all kids have loveys. A tattered baby blanket or a beat-up stuffed animal or something (anything!) that they take to bed with them every night and cuddle with when their little worlds spin out of control. Something that makes everything okay.

But not my kids. I've actually tried to encourage this kind of attachment, but I must have missed the chapter on self-comfort in the motherhood how-to manual.

Jensen sucked his fingers. He sucked his fingers so much that he had a chronic fungal infection in his fingernails. (Lovely.) He sucked them until he was five, by the way, but he doesn't anymore so I won't dwell on that. That's how he made himself happy. Every once in a while he would decide to take something to bed with him at night, but it was always something decidedly un-cuddly, like a toy tractor or a football. And it was never consistent. If things got overwhelming he just popped his fingers in his mouth and sucked away.

Evan never consented to be comforted by anything. Not his thumb, not a pacifier, not me, and certainly nothing as silly as a blanket or an animal. Nothing. He still doesn't find much of anything that consoles him if he's unhappy, and I'm here to tell you that all of our lives would be a little easier if something calmed him down. A stuffed animal, perhaps. Or cigarettes. Or Jim Beam.

But Caleb has recently shown some promise in the lovey department. He sucks his fingers, too. But if he's really unhappy, we've stumbled across something that he adores.

A 15-ounce bottle of Johnson's Baby Lotion.


He cuddles it and snuggles it and talks to that stupid thing. He kisses it. He plays peek-a-boo with it, for God's sake.

My infant son is in love with a bottle of lotion.

I'm not sure this can be considered a success.

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