My sweet daughter turned four recently. In many ways, it's unbelievable to me. She's my joyful little baby, the one I still clearly remember holding as a dark-haired, beautiful nugget at the hospital. My daughter doesn't think it's hard to believe, though. She rocks preschool. She has more friends than I do. She is fearless, engaging, and funny.
She has one treasured relic of babyhood, however, that both of us are having a difficult time parting with—Wobby.
Wobby is my daughter's tiny green baby blanket, now peppered with holes and torn along the edges with a smattering of unidentified stains no amount of laundry detergent will eliminate. I have no problem with Wobby in and of itself. I believe in the power of security objects. In fact, my mother recently found my own ratty pink Wobby as she cleaned out her basement. She packed it in a puffy envelope and sent it to me in the mail; despite our lack of extra closet space, I guarantee that soft, faded pink blanket will never find its way into the trash bin.
The problem with my daughter's Wobby is this: it immediately makes her suck her thumb, like Pavlov's dog salivating for that bell. If she's stroking Wobby with the fingers on her right hand, then her left thumb immediately goes in her smiling mouth. Thumb sucking is adorable (and quite useful) until the dentist makes you feel like a low-down, no good, dirty rotten, mother, scolding you while displaying your child's marked overbite.
So I'm trying. Trying to do what is best for my daughter in the long run (i.e. less time with braces). The pale green Wobby is slowly working its way out of my daughter's daily routine. She no longer takes it to preschool. She no longer rarely clutches it on long car drives or during her favorite shows. I encourage her to “let” it stay home when we run errands. My daughter isn't so sure about all of this. It's kind of heartbreaking for both of us, despite the smile I paste on my face.
At night, as I tuck my littlest sweetheart into her cozy blue and pink nest of covers and pillows, I let her have her dear comfort blanket. Of course I do. I know my tiny baby—my last baby—is still in that preschooler's growing body, and neither of us is quite ready to say goodbye to her yet.