Thursday, February 22, 2007


developmental and child psychologists have postulated on the purpose of "transitional objects" as being important and normal security items for little ones. a blanket, teddy, or pillow is used to manage the transition of separation from the primary caretaker. it serves as a comforting distraction from a stressful situation; the grown up version would obviously be shopping or chocolate.

recently, i have been scouring the internet looking for a blankie. no, i am not "with child", however at this age i probably shouldn't be trawling through the baby section for myself. i am looking for a baby blanket, an old school pram blanket to be more specific, preferably blue, yellow and pink squares with tassels. i was not one of those little girls who had more stuffed animals than she knew what to do with. growing up i had a dolphin, a red dog, a care bear and my blanket. i remember visiting my cousin who had multiple care bears, popples (those things that you could turn inside out) an assortment of teddys, cabbage patch dolls, dalmation dogs, and strawberry shortcake and her gang, all over her bed. i always wondered if she pushed them all off at night, squeezed them to the end, or just lay on top of them a la princess and the pea. it just seemed rather excessive for a 7 year old. even now, when teddy bears have been replaced by sleeping humans, i guard my bed space vigilantly.

i finally looked up the south african department store to see if i could track down the original blanket. pages and pages of upscale chenille and fleece, personalized, monogrammed, disney, looney tunes and dora (a sentimental "awwwww" moment at the peter rabbit collection). i found my bro's blankie, of course he gave his up before he hit double digits. my search ended in success on ebay, for 99p i found one in lancashire, england. it's currently making it's way across the atlantic to my eager mitts!

i don't expect people to understand my particular idiosyncracy, it's a very sensory related habit. i can't walk through racks of clothes without reaching my hand out for a quick "hit". one of my earliest father/daughter bonding moments was making bread (back in his marathon running days). i would always be allowed to dig my hands in and knead the sticky dough, breathing in the yeast.

my blanket, like linus's, went with me everywhere; in my backpack on the plane, tucked into my sleeping bag when we went camping at the red sea, surreptiously smuggled into friends sleepvers, and then stored under my pillow during the day. invariably wherever i went, a little piece of it got left behind. as i continue to make a lifetime habit out of transitions i have been unable to shake my original transitional object. now i leave a trail of transition behind me rather like hansel and gretel, except without the mean witch being chucked into the fireplace.

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