At least two nights a week, Claire loses her blankie. She hasn't had it all day, has no memory of when she last saw it and is so distraught at the idea of actually sleeping without it that she can't help look for it. She must remain in bed (which is where she always is, tucked in and bedtimes stories already told, when she discovers the blankie is gone), crying and whining and lamenting the unfairness of her blankie-less existence. Jason and I begin frantically searching for the lost lovey, knowing that as soon as it's found, Claire will go to sleep and we can finally sit on the couch and watch So You Think You Can Dance.
But the other night when Claire discovered her blankie was missing, I had had enough. Instead of looking for the blankie, I began to lecture her about keeping up with her things and how it wasn't MY responsibility to find HER lost objects and if it was really THAT special to her then SHE should get out of bed and look for it HERSELF. I told her that she couldn't expect me to drop everything to look for her blankie and I may have even thrown in something about kindergarteners taking care of their own things. I gave her another kiss and told her she could help me find the blankie tomorrow. Sniffling, she agreed and said good night.
I went downstairs to watch TV, congratulating myself on teaching Claire a lesson in responsibility. Next time, I thought to myself, she'll remember to leave her blankie on her bed so it won't get lost.
An hour later, I remembered I had left wet clothes in the washing machine. As I began transferring the towels to the dryer, I noticed something pink and silky at the bottom of the machine. I reached in and pulled out Claire's beloved blankie.
Here's where I would like to tell you that I went up to Claire's room right then and there and apologized. But I didn't. I tossed the blankie in the dryer and finished watching Anderson Cooper (yeah I'm old, so?). Before I went to bed, I tiptoed into Claire's room and laid her freshly laundered blankie by her pillow.
The next morning she came downstairs, holding her blankie triumphantly over her head. "Mom! You found it!"
"Oh, yeah. I knew that thing would turn up somewhere..."