I only have one kid – on purpose! – so why do I feel like I have several?
Oh, right: MY KID HAS A LOVEY.
It’s a little mini-blanket with a lion head on the top of it, and my son snuggles with it all day long. At first, it was cute: “Oh, look at how much he loves his lovey lion! It’s his best friend! ADORABLE!” Soon, it got too serious to be cute. Now my son can barely function without the thing.
And I hate it.
You may remember the heartfelt piece I wrote a ways back, when my son lost the stuffed-animal/blanket thing that had been his constant companion almost since he could eat solid food. This is not that piece.
No, there’s nothing heartfelt about this one, not after my kid nearly lost the damn thing again.
You see, no matter where we go, Lovey has to come along. In the car, to the restaurant, in the grocery store, to grandma’s, at the bar, and the next bar, and the bar after that. Taking a toddler out in public is challenging on a good day; if my kid doesn’t have his lovey, it’s a total non-starter.
What was once adorable has soured into addiction; “cute” has curdled into “codependent”. Shit has gotten too real. For all of us.
Every single time the thing is misplaced, it’s traumatic – for my son and for me. Every time he asks “where’s Lovey?” and I don’t immediately know, it’s panic-attack city until he’s found. Because I know if he’s not found, my kid will be inconsolable for days.
It’s gotten to the point that I spend more time worrying about the safety and whereabouts of my son’s blanket/stuffed-animal hybrid thing than I do worrying about my actual human son.
The next time he loses his lovey, it’s over. NO MORE LOVEYS. No more lies about Lovey going to help another little boy in need; no identical replacements that we convince my son is his same-old Lovey having returned from a stint in rehab (for exhaustion, I swear!).
THE MADNESS NEEDS TO STOP. It’s better to have had Lovey and lost than never to have had Lovey at all. OR EVER AGAIN.
Sorry, kid. I have enough stress in my life without worrying about where my addle-brained 3yo dropped his filth-ridden slobber blanket. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have to find my lucky t-shirt. The game’s coming on.
This post originally appeared on the (now defunct) Bad Playdate newsletter.