Shortly before HT's birth, I received two bunny blankets. Similar, to Phoebe's Bear, they consisted of a stuffed bunny head with a blanket for a body. One rattled, the other did not. They both had long white ears, with soft pink insides and a satin trim on each blanket. HT immediately took to the quiet bunny blanket and we cleverly christened him "Bun." Bun became her buddy early on. I don't remember the exact time frame, but they were pretty much inseparable as soon as Bun was safely allowed into her crib at night. The sparkling white blanket paled to a muddied grey. I've already stitched that blanket butt back on once already and I'm sure I will have to do it many times more. My point is, Bun is loved.
Last October, a smaller pink bunny blanket made a reappearance. We found the bunny blanket in J's car and then suddenly, Bun, Baby Bun and HT became a trio. They went everywhere together. Then my dad got HT a small toy Pomeranian which HT affectionately called "Huh, Huh" mimicking the breathing sound that dogs make. Eventually "Huh Huh" became "Do" and finally "Dog." HT started calling them her guys, and she carried them everywhere. When she woke up in the morning, she'd stand in the crib, clutching her guys to her chest, shouting "Mommy!" Then she'd carefully walk to
the steps and carry them all downstairs where they would sit on the table while she ate breakfast. At Christmas, a stuffed Pluto dog was added to the mix. Pluto was 3x the size of all the others and yet somehow, he became one of the guys and was carted around and was a necessity for sleep. A small Baby Minnie was a brief 3-month interloper to the group. For whatever reason, after we came back from Disney, she was summarily dismissed from the group. If I put Minnie in the crib, HT adamantly shouts "NO MeeMee!"
Each night, when I nurse HT, the guys come with her. It became part of out nightly ritual. Toothbrush, wash, books with Bean, hug and kiss Bean goodnight and then pull the guys out of the crib and pile them on the ottoman. She'd gingerly count each one as if doing roll call. Only when they were properly piled in such a way that she saw fit were we allowed to proceed with boopie (or breastfeeding). After I'd settle into the chair, I'd carefully pile the guys on top of HT and she'd settle in to nurse. If one guy fell to the floor, HT would unlatch and murmur the missing guy's name until it was fetched and returned to the pile. She did this in the pitch dark, as if she has a sixth sense. When she eventually fell asleep, I'd carry her quietly to her crib, reposition the guys all around her, tuck her under her blanket and sneak out of the room.
This has been my nighttime routine for months now, and I'm going to miss it. HT is almost two and nursing less and less. This is normal. Some nights, she'll nurse for just five minutes and then settle into my lap for a lullaby and a cuddle. I'm going to miss this ritual more than I can possibly say. Nursing has been an extraordinary gift to me. It's a quiet peaceful part of my day that I simply relish. I love the way she fits in the crook of my arm. I love her little head and how her blonde hair curls when she gets sweaty. I love the watching her eyes slowly close as she drifts off to sleep. And I love all the guys that lay on top of her like a cuddly blanket. I love watching her hand curl around Bun's neck as her other arm encircles the rest of the guys. These are my tiny moments with her. They are just mine. Most of all, I love that it's just us. You see, I'm one of her guys now and she carries my heart with her everywhere too.