Lots of children have favorite things that they love and from which they are comforted. Security objects may be a blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier. Just Me loved a yellow flannel baby blanket with a print of roses on it. She also had several much loved stuffed animals, like Mary the bear and Junior the cat. Wonder Boy also had a baby blanket that he preferred, although he didn’t have the same long term attachment to his as Just Me did for her yellow blanket. I recall PB loved a blue blanket as much as Just Me loved her yellow blanket. They both loved their respective blankets until they were in shreds and there were only little scraps of them left. As previously discussed, Whiy feel in love with MY blanket with the blue roses, but between a 7 yr old and a baby, the baby wins the blanket. Hipee, however, fell in love with the strangest comfort object.
We called it her “bankee” but there was nothing blanket-like about it. She’s going to object to this story, but, sweetie, the facts are the facts, no matter how sad or odd. We all know that Hipee fell in love with and was comforted by a clump of unraveled carpet. Yup. She’d unravel a wad of carpet, hold it up against her cheek, and sucked her thumb. (She was a thumb sucker too.) I can still clearly picture her sucking her thumb, clutching her scratchy carpet yarn, rubbing it on her cheek and working it in her little hands. If she lost a wad of her bankee, she could always go unravel more.
But she didn’t just rub it on her cheek. She also rubbed it under her nose. Sometimes she’d grab clumps of her hair and rub that and her bankee under her nose while sucking her thumb. She must have been sniffing it, although I can’t imagine it smelled good. Perhaps it was the texture that appealed to her. I know it had a lot of texture. It was scratchy, at least partially, because it was unraveled from a carpet and had bits of backing that came off with it. Perhaps it was a combination of scratchy and smooth. After all, she also grabbed her hair and rubbed it on her cheek and under her nose.
As I recall, Whiy and PB were both thumb suckers too, along with holding their blankets. Now some experts say that comfort objects stand for mother - the comfort object reminds the child of their mother. In this respect, I understand the thumb sucking as being comforting, but the unraveled carpet yarn is still mystifying. It was not soft like a blanket. If it reminded Hipee of our mom, it means Hipee felt our mother was a bit rough and scratchy but somewhat soft. Whoa – the psychologically implications there are interesting.
I’m not even sure how Hipee first found unraveled carpet yarn, started collecting it, or knew where to get it. Once she discovered her supply source, she knew where to get her bankee if she lost the current clump of carpet. Furthermore, we moved at least three times during her prolonged blankee stage, so she had to be sharp, stay alert, and know where to get a new supply if needed.
I don’t remember when Hipee finally gave up the clump of carpet blankee. I do know that when we were both in college I ran across this carpet that was unraveling at my school. I harvested a clump to give to Hipee as a gift. She was not amused.