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Lovey or Leave It

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I have sixteen-year-old stained Gerber pre-folded cloth diapers strewn all over my house. They’ve never touched my children’s butt … but they’ve been in my two-year-old’s mouth since he was a baby. That’s right—my child’s lovey is a dirty old diaper rag.


It was funny at first—ha ha, my toddler doesn’t suck a pacifier (binky) or his thumb. No, he sucks a rag. I’ve got the first few photos of his habit, the “this one’s for his baby-book” shot. Now I cringe when he has his rag while I want to take a photo. It’s not cute or funny anymore.


My husband and I are tired of finding sopping wet diapers in the oddest of places, like in the dog’s food dish or in the kitchen cabinets or the bathtub … I’ve even had the pleasure of finding a particularly nasty one under my pillow; mommy finally crawling into bed, exhausted and frazzled from the long day and she’s just about found her Zen when she feels a spit-soaked rag touching her arm. I shudder just thinking about it now.


What’s even worse is when the “lovey” must be taken out of the house. Yes, those nasty rags must be with him in the car on any type of trip—long or short. And no, they don’t stay in the car, as much as my husband and I have tried and fought with him for the rag to stay. It has to come with him. I’m embarrassed when we go to Target or the grocery store, or really, anywhere, and he has it hanging out of his mouth. People stare. I smile, but curse them in my head … I can’t help it that my child is hopelessly, kicking and screamingly attached to a stained diaper rag.


Well, that’s not really true—we can and should have helped it a long time ago, but we never knew the god-send rag that pacified my son during his fretful times. His tantrum-ing and his slumber would become a curse. I remember the rag fondly when we first needed it to get Luke calmed. Wow, it works—awesome. We shouldn’t have relied on it for every soothing situation … we created this dependency and now we are paying for it. He needs his rag for everything—he will cry and scream for a “rraaaaag” and if one is not readily available, he will fall apart.


Now we have to eventually take his dear lovey(s) away. I think the constant sucking has begun to push his teeth apart. He has a rash around his mouth from the constant moisture. And, he just looks plain silly with a dirty old stained diaper in his mouth. My husband and I have said, “This weekend, they are gone” about seven times. This weekend was no different. This was the weekend to end the dirty rag reign over our house.


The “rag fairy” was supposed to come last night, but she didn’t. She was crying and fretting about taking her son’s lovey away … she was beating herself up about how devastated he would be that he would never have another dirty old stained rag to comfort him. So, she let him have his rags for at least one more week …

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