Counting blankies

I've been counting blankies again. 19 months ago, I was counting blankies. I started a blog post about it but never finished it. Back in April of 2012, I collapsed in the recliner and told Rich that I was worried about Ian's blankies. Rich was reading Paranoia (which just hit me how ironic that is) and he peered up over the book wearily. "Hunh?"

"I counted all the blankets and we're missing two." "We have a shitload of blankets." "We have 16, but I can only find 12. I'm not counting the one white one at Mom's because that's not one we bought. But there are four blankets missing." "But. We. Have. 12. Blankets." "Yes, but there are four missing. Red star blanket, orange star blanket, red and blue stick figures and elephant blanket." "I'm sure they're just in the van." "I already looked in the van. And the laundry room, and upstairs and in our suitcases. I don't know where else they could be." "He's got one at school." "I counted that one; it's the red and blue swirls." He sighed. "It's 11 o'clock at night. I don't have the energy to look for them. We have plenty and if not we can just buy more." "I checked my Amazon orders so I would know which ones were missing. But that doesn't explain where they went." "I don't know what to tell you." "I'm going to go buy four more blankets and see if that makes me feel better."

On April 30, 2012, I bought four more blankies. That's what Amazon tells me. And for 19 months I was pretty okay about it. I'm still upset that the elephant blankie is missing because it was one of my favorites, but we've had a surplus of blankies. Ian uses them every day and they are the closest thing to a security blanket he has. Apparently, they're a bit of a security blanket to me too.

I noticed at 4am today after Ian wet the bed (which is a much bigger hassle when you co-sleep) we only had one clean blankie in the drawers - the green star blankie. I resolved to track them down this week. Ian didn't ever go back to sleep after our 4am wardrobe change and fresh linens. Every 15 minutes or so he would quietly say out into the darkness, "Hey Mommy?"

"Yes, Ian?" "Yesterday, I was playing ninja turtles on the playground and I fell down just like Daddy did when he plays ninja turtles." "That's great. Go to sleep." "Ok." "....." "....." "Hey Mommy?"

So we have all been running on fumes today. Rich had his root canal today and fell asleep before Ian did, and Ian went to bed at 7:30 which is unheard of. So by 8pm it was just me and the animals and my anxieties. I started making lists. Everything that was weighing on me I put on a piece of paper. Some were little things. Some were big things. Some I can't do alone (like have discussions). But they are all little stones I'm holding without any basket and I needed to park them somewhere for a moment.

Once I had my list I started checking off what I could. I washed the urine-soaked bedding and clothes. I did the dishes. I put out the trash and recycling. I cleaned the litter boxes. I put a mattress cover on our spare mattress to protect it from the dog that keeps using it as his personal dog bed. I folded laundry. I took apart the nearly failed crock pot chicken soup I tried to make today and rehabilitated it into something edible to store in the fridge. And I counted blankies.

Since April of last year when I bought four more, we now have 20 blankies, but tons of them have gone MIA. The elephant blankie is long gone still (may it rest in peace) but now I'm missing alligators, blue/green XOs, the blue/green polka dots with a silver nitrate stain on it, the ABC blankie, the swirl blankie, the rectangle blankie and the multi-color people blankie that got a huge hole in it from the gears in the sliding door of the van. Rich is asleep now but if he were awake he would sigh and tell me we have a shit load of blankies.

But I want to know where the others are. I just saw the swirl one last week because Ian complained about not wanting it versus another kind. Same with the people blankie with the huge hole. I haven't seen alligators in forever (this sounds like a Maya Angelou poem or something) and I just gave away turtles to little SJ whose house burned down this weekend. Not knowing wears me down. Not being able to let it go wears me down. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not just about lining up pencils by height. My very mild version of it involves not letting go of things that everyone else can. I don't have to tie my shoes in any particular order, but it will take a lot for me to fall asleep not knowing which one of the missing blankies is at school in Ian's cubbie.

It's actually taken me forever to write this just because I keep stopping to search for blankies. Technically, this post is 19 months in the making. I just found the polka dot blankie with the silver nitrate stains. It was under our bed with one of Ian's socks. I've also crawled around and checked under all the other beds and furniture in the house.

I did buy four more blankies tonight in an effort to make my brain chill out, but it didn't really help. Finding the blankie under the bed just now, though, gave me a sense of calm like a smoker taking that first drag on a cigarette. I've found and washed most of the blankies tonight. There are six blankies not accounted for (I don't ever count the elephant. Again with the Maya Angelou!). One is at school. One is at my parents'. It's time for bed. I just went out to the van one last time to look.

Rich is right. We have a shit load of blankies. But I still like knowing where they are.

Counting blankies