Tag Archives: baby

Coccoon Obsession

15 Dec

"The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that's all I need."

In the early days, when Seabass was an infant hell bent on systematically whittling my endurance down to a quivering nub, I would have done anything to get him hooked on a “lovey.”  Unfamiliar with lovies?  Think Linus and his blanket.  Or Maggie and her pacifier.   Basically any tangible item that makes a child feel comforted and secure, other than MOM or BOOB.

While BabySleepSite.com suggests that a lovey “should ideally not be larger than [a baby’s] head nor have things that can fall off that he can choke on,” I was so desperate to calm our colicky Seabass down that I would have given him a chef’s knife if it might’ve helped.  When it came to settling him down, no suggestion went untried, from stroking his eyebrows (while he screamed) to dancing with him to Björk (while he screamed) to squirting breastmilk in his face (straight from the tap, I might add…while he screamed).

Little did we know that the source of Seabass’ comfort would come in the form of a circular blanket that my mom knitted – a coccoon, if you will. (For all you wild and crazy knitters out there, here’s a link to the pattern.) It all started when he started busting out of his swaddle blanket.  Afraid that he would get cold while he slept unswaddled, we used the coccoon from my mom to keep him warm.  Think of it as a baby sleeping bag.  Or a big blue sock. Or a Rastafarian beanie in which lengthy dredlocks make their home.

We used the coccoon consistently through last winter and into the spring, though eventually it became too small for wearing and was instead used for clutching.  Pretty soon we noticed that Seabass had formed a real attachment to the coccoon, trailing it behind him as he tromped around the house, in the backyard, wherever.  It was getting harder to wash because whenever I had time to chuck it in the washing machine, it was more than likely being snuggled during a nap.  Thus, a distinctive “aroma” has settled on the coccoon – one that is specific to Seabass’ needs in moments of uncertainty, exhaustion, or plain old fashioned fussiness.  I know this because he often takes deep hits off of it, smothering his face with what is becoming a ratty – and gamey – oversized sock.

Growing up, I never had a lovey, but I sucked the first and second fingers on my right hand until I was old enough to know better.  (Truth be told, I sometimes sniff those knuckles if I can’t fall asleep.  Don’t tell Jake.)  While it’s sometimes a nuisance to pick dead leaves, burrs, and God-knows-what-else out of Seabass’ coccoon after he wanders in with it from outside, I know what it is to be comforted by something as simple as a blanket.  Much as I may mock the smell wafting off his coccoon, it probably smells a lot like me: It squishes between us as I rock my little boy to sleep each night and as we greet each morning.  For that, I take his obsession as a compliment.

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UPDATE: We are alive.

28 Jun

I'd smile too if I didn't have a baby on a plane.

At the prompting of a concerned friend, I write this brief post to announce that Seabass and I have indeed made it to Idaho alive.  That is the good news.

You may remember a post from two weeks ago regarding the terror I felt in anticipation of flying with my 13-month-old Seabass.  It turns out I had every reason to fear flying with him: It’s bloody horrific.  Rant: Would you believe that TSA requires babies to remove their shoes during security screening?  He wears a size 5 shoe and they checked Seabass for explosives.  I mean COME ON.

For the first flight, we were seated next to a very nice young woman (a college student?) who read a magazine the whole time.  That is, she read a magazine when Seabass wasn’t yanking on it.  Or screaming.  Or disintegrating with rage when I wouldn’t let him tug the hair of the poor man sitting in front of us.

Yeah, that first flight was pretty much hell on wings.  When the stewardess asked for my drink order, I, like a rookie idiot, requested ginger ale for myself and apple juice for a thirsty Seabass.  Since he was sitting on my lap, I couldn’t pull the tray table down, so I had to hold the drinks in those clear plastic tumblers they hand out.  (note to self: deny the beverage service!)  Double-fisting the cups, I attempted to let Seabass drink from one cup while getting a sip or two out of my own.  Apple juice cascaded down the front of his shirt (note to self: work on cup-drinking) and then he pulled my ginger ale down all over both of our pants.  A whole cup.  The wet spot was perfectly positioned to look as though I’d peed my pants.  Our skin stuck together from the dried sugar.  Oh, oh, I’m starting to twitch just thinking about it.

Seabass wailed during the descent of the aircraft until I donned my nursing cover and let the little dude have a boob.  I was willing to do pretty much anything to relax him at that point. I also let him nurse during our 90-minute layover in Phoenix when he wasn’t running around the airport trying to grab everyone’s laptop, food, or SmartPhone.  (note to self: next time, bring the Ergo carrier!)

The second flight was easier than the first for a few reasons:

  1. It was later, so Seabass was pretty dazed
  2. We had an un-booked seat beside us, offering a little extra space
  3. Our seatmate was a lovely retired stewardess named Joan who took Seabass on her lap and rocked him while I tried to relax.  When I asked her if nursing the baby would offend her, she said, matter-of-factly, “Not at all.  Flop it out and let ‘er rip.”

It was so wonderful to disembark the plane and to see my beautiful mom awaiting us at the baggage claim.  And it’s been POSITIVELY HEAVENLY to be cooked for, cleaned-up after, and pampered the way Seabass and I have been at Oma and Oompa’s house.  So I’m happy to report that being here is worth the pain it took to arrive.

By the by, the little “I’m sorry” goodie bags for my seatmates went over extremely well.  Comments included:

“Well, this is a first.”

“What a lovely gesture.”

“Oh, this isn’t necessary!”

and, my personal favorite,

“Can I have another Kit Kat?”