The Blanket Crisis

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Ever find yourself doing some task too quickly and thinking, "I really should slow down or I'll crack the coffee pot/drop these grocery bags/shred those tennis balls with the lawn mower?"

One day I was thinking just such thoughts as I vacuumed the bedrooms, hurriedly throwing toys, books, and clothes onto the beds to clear a path for the roaring Electrolux. In Talie's room, I tossed some Groovy Girls under the bed, put her doll cradle on top, and began my mad dash across the rug. Her most treasured possession — a once-pink, now-gray fuzzy blanket she's had since babyhood that is essential for bedtime, ouches, and cuddling in general — was just peeking out from under the bed.

"Just a little closer," I thought, shoving the vacuum forward, "plenty of room to spare," when the vacuum's whine rose several decibels. Next thing I knew, it had sucked up the blanket like chocolate milk through a straw.

I flipped the power switch off as fast as I could, and cringed at the burnt rubber smell as I bent down and turned the machine over. There it was, tightly coiled around the rollers in the monster's underbelly. Talie, who had been shadowing me, was of course horrified.

"I'm so sorry! It will be okay!" I promised, hoping and praying this was true. I managed to pry the machine open, but as I unspooled the blanket, we saw a large rip and lots of black smudgy marks. Talie was dissolving; I had to think fast.

Part of Blankie clearly had to go, but there were two good patches that sparked an idea. I salvaged a long strip, maybe 6" by 24" and another 6" by 6" square. I washed them both, and re-stitched the ragged ends with green thread (Talie's choice). The longer piece was — thankfully — quickly accepted as the new Blankie. Talie uses the smaller one to tuck in her favorite little doll.

And from now on, I'm prepared. That little square stays in her room at all times. It's the back-up, waiting in the wings in case some other trauma should befall Blankie One.

Looking back on this, I suppose it would have been wise to divide the blanket in two ahead of time, so there was always one at the ready. But another good thing did come of the blanket crisis. Not only do we have our back-up, but now when Talie sees me coming with the vacuum, she moves her stuff, far, far out of its reach without me asking twice.

How do you handle household disasters? Click the comments link below to find and share solutions.

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The Blanket Crisis

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