Made a mistake, it's too late, how much havoc did I make?
I am officially out of the running for the Mommy of the Year Award. I goofed, big time, and I had to fess up to my four-year-old at bedtime last night. I (we?) left Blanket at Grandma's house.
Blanket, by the way, is my son's lovey - a hand knitted (or maybe crocheted) blanket that we received as a baby gift before he was born. Since he was about a year old, he's held Blanket at bedtime, and Blanket has accompanied us on trips. The boy and his blanket come as a pair - usually....
I know - you are staring at your computer screen in disbelief. Let me tell you, when I was halfway home and realized that Blanket had probably not made it into the kids' travel bag, for a split second I thought about turning around. I can't believe I'm even telling you that I goofed so badly! However, even Magic Moms goof on occasion - the magic comes with the clever solutions that we often (but not always) come up with.
Let me give you a little more background on Blanket. You already know what he looks like (yes, Blanket is a he). You already know that J goes to sleep clutching Blanket - naps included. But you don't know that the rule around here is that "Blanket stays in bed." I guess I'm a germ freak, but the thought of my kid hauling a blanket everywhere just didn't sit well with me. I have seen kids in the store with their fave lovey along for the ride, picking up shopping cart germs, grocery store dirt, and parking lot grime. That's just not okay. The only exception to the rule is if we will be leaving home overnight - then the blankets accompany us. They get packed into the kids' travel bag along with a few toys, a pack of wipes, and other necessities for road trips in the mommy-van. If the kids want them during the ride, the bag sits right between their seats, and they can just grab a blanket and snuggle. This often leads to a nap, which leads to happy kids upon arriving at the destination.
Well, I was packing yesterday morning for the trip home from SC. When J woke up, he came down the hall to say good morning and have some breakfast. As he does at home, he left Blanket in bed. So, the kids had breakfast, got dressed, and watched the Disney Channel while I got everything packed and loaded. Jonah slept in a separate room from me, so as I was packing up everything in my room, I forgot to do a double-check in the room where he'd slept. I also did not double-check my packing list from when I originally packed for the trip. Yes - I use a packing list, and I take it with me to use when I pack for the trip home. I also write down "blankets and toys" every time so I don't forget to take them along. How terrible would it be to get to your destination and not have the blankets?!? Even worse than getting home without them, I think.
As I mentioned, we were about halfway home when I discovered Blanket was not along for the ride. J asked where Blanket was, and in that moment I realized what had happened. Using my best quick thinking skills, I told him that I couldn't reach it (which was true...), but just to relax and watch the movie (thank goodness for in-car DVDs, but that's anther post). He seemed satisfied with that, as he'd already made a lot of requests for things I couldn't reach. I knew he wouldn't be so satisfied when the whole story came out.
When bedtime rolled around, he helped me tuck Miss M into her bed. Her blanket had just "taken a bath" and was in the dryer, so we were sitting around waiting for the familiar "ding" to tell us it was dry. As I explained this to J, he asked me where Blanket was. Uh-oh - the moment I'd been dreading. I asked him if he'd put blanket into the toy bag before we left Grandma's and he figured it out too fast - Blanket was still in bed at Grandma's. I know what you are thinking - how mean to turn it around like that and make him feel like it was his fault. Well, we are trying to teach him to be responsible for his possessions, but I also apologized that I did not remind him to find blanket before we left. And, having called my mom earlier in the day to ask her to put Blanket in the mail, I was able to assure him that Blanket was on his way back home, thanks to Grandma and the mailman. After explaining that Blanket was in a big envelope or a box, and that he would return on Friday, J promptly told me he wanted Blanket to be in a box. There were some tears, but not nearly the amount I had anticipated.
By the way, there's only one Blanket. After searching the house for a couple of possible substitutes, and having J veto every one, he had to go to sleep alone.... He didn't want to sing a song or say prayers, as is our usual routine, so I said his prayers for him, thanking God for Grandma and the mailman, and asking to help Blanket get home safely. I'm not sure if that's an ok thing to pray for, but I imagine that if it's coming from the heart of (or on behalf of) a child, God doesn't mind.
The big issue with the candidates? The holes weren't big enough. They were all knitted or crocheted, but none of them had "holes" as big as Blanket. And J reminded me of this when I put him down for his nap this afternoon. I am so proud of him for really taking this in stride (he's growing up!), but Friday at 2pm can't come fast enough. I bet we will be on the front porch then, waiting for the mailman and Blanket to arrive.
Blanket was home by 11:30am today (Friday), and arrived on the front porch in a BOX. J could not have been more pleased :)