Friday, June 13, 2008

Nothing beats the Classics

When my son was a newborn, we were big Happiest Baby on the Block devotees*. We swaddled him like crazy, and he loved it. I'd lay him down on the blanket to swaddle, and he'd get giggly and smiley. Sometimes, he'd be asleep before I even finished tucking in the last flap. It was dreamy. (for the record, our daughter had raging reflux and was a horrible sleeper, so don't think we haven't paid our dues as parents! ;)

Once he got to the point where he wanted to be swaddled with his arms outside the blanket, I noticed that he was playing with the tag on his favorite cloud-print fleece blanket. I'd somehow end up swaddling him the same way every time so the tag was popping out right at his head, and he'd just rub it between his little fingers as he fell asleep. Before long, he'd rubbed all the writing off of it, and it was pilled and threadbare.

He finally outgrew swaddling all together, but I could tell he still had a thing for a tag. Of course, I'd seen the Taggie blankets, but this happened to be around the time I took my first sewing class, so I decided to try my hand at making one**. I took some of Ben's favorite fleece swaddling blankets and used them to make small tag blankets so he could still get his tag fix. The first one I made was incredibly wonky, so it was - of course - the one he latched on to.

I had enough mom experience in me to know that having a kid attached to one item in particular can be dangerous. If you lost that item, or it gets destroyed, you can have a disaster on your hands. I thought I'd be smart and make at least three tag blankets for him, but he still just clutched on to the original. One day, we jokingly called them his "Classics," and it stuck. When he's getting ready for bed, or is stressed out, he'll run around saying, "My Cwassics! My Cwassics!"

And when he finds them, he buries his face in them and takes a deeeeeeeeeeeep breath. (we call that, "taking a hit off the classics") and rubs the worn out satin ribbon tags on his nose. It's hilarious. Of course, he likes them to get extra stinky. I've tried to convince them that they are best fresh from the dryer, and he likes them warm and clean, but when they've been tucked under his little sweaty, sleepy body for a week .... that's when he loves them best.

We actually lost them for a while a little more than a week ago. He didn't have the meltdowns I thought he would, but he did ask each night - when I handed him one of the backup tags - where his "Classics" were. I found them last night - buried in one of the never-ending piles of laundry that lives in my house. I washed them and tucked them in bed with him in the middle of the night. He woke up and acted like it was Christmas. Miracle of Miracles! "My Classics! My Classics!" He instantly took a big whiff and started rubbing the tags on his nose.

Some of the tags have already fallen off, and those that remain are pilled beyond belief. Several of the tags used to have little novelty prints - dots, frogs, camo - but that's been long rubbed off. I'm so curious to see how much life the "Classics" have left in them, and to see how long Ben goes nuts over them. I dragged my E.T. doll to college with me, so ....... who knows .....

* I've often said that if I ever meet Dr. Karp, I'd kiss him full on the mouth ... and I'm totally serious. ** Tag blankets may be easy and fun to make, but Taggies have a copyright on their version of the product (which has been safety tested and specially developed) and pursue folks who sell copies vigilantly.


  1. Too cute. This had me laughing out loud.

  2. I met Harvey Karp at a breastfeeding conference at which I was doing an improv/comedy show (we did a medley of rewritten Beatles songs..."Hey Boob" and things like that).

    He was SO NICE. So friendly. So...genuine and real and down to earth and just happy to meet a family who had been helped by his work. He gave us a copy of his toddler DVD autographed to Arden...very sweet.

    I'm sure he'd be okay with a kiss, too...

  3. So sweet.

    My boys have a blanket each, both named Blue Lady. (one is blue, the other is white) They are just basic thermal cotton blankets but they love them.
    And if Blue Lady has been vomited on or is missing...well, no other Lady will do.

  4. First off, what a cutie!! Second, I have a swaddler too - it must be a boy thing because Taylor never needed it.

  5. I think that is one of my favorite posts you've written. One day that little boy of yours will be taller than you and interested in girls and you'll look back at these pictures and cry. My son is 13 and seeing that picture of your baby boy swaddled in a blanket brought tears to my eyes because it seem likes yesterday when he was that tiny. Time goes by too quickly. Enjoy these moments while he's little.

  6. stacy-rae - thanks! He makes me laugh out loud (and, honestly, pull my hair out) every day! :)

    jodi - I'm so jealous! One, that you've met Dr. Karp and, two, that you have opportunities to sing "boob" in front of loads of people. I love you so!

    jen - I know just what you mean! One night, Ben threw up on his classics, and I had to do a load of laundry right-then-and-there so he could go back to sleep with them. Crazy, but it was ok - it was a big part of what made him feel better.

    Stacy - our daughter loved being swaddled, too, though! Seriously, she was swaddled until she was almost two. I know, I know! But she l-o-v-e-d it.

    mommiesbee - trust me, I teared up more than once going through pictures to use for this post. He turns four in two weeks, and I'm just flabbergasted by how quickly this is moving along.

    Thanks for all the sweet comments, y'all! This was a fun one to write. :)

  7. OMG, girl, my friend in L.A. took her kid to Dr. Karp. LOVED HIM! I'll have to forward your post to her. . .

  8. this had me giggling. That's so adorable. What a brilliant turn of phrase your son has!

  9. This was the cutest darn story ever. And that is the cutest baby ever. EVER!

  10. Your post reminds me of the Baby-gami book. I'm definitely going to swaddle when I have my own little babes. Hopefully they are as cute as yours.

  11. good to know "Happiest Baby" works! I just read the book and bought the DVD for Jason & I to watch together. A friend gave me a couple of Swaddle Me blankets that she swears by for her 6 mo old, too. Here's hoping they work for us!!

  12. OMGOSH, that's such a sweet story! My boys latch onto the craziest things so I understand.
    I love it!


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