My daughter's lovey – her (now) small, most precious blanket, “Baba” – has saved the day countless times (many of which I’ve posted about here!). It has helped her get through doctor's appointments. She has tried to use it to soothe her big sister. Let's face it; her “Baba” has helped her sleep nearly every night of her life. And I must admit that it has, in turn, helped me and my husband in all of these scenarios. Victory for Team Lovey!
But last summer, when we visited my older daughter at sleepaway camp, another variable entered the lovey equation: My younger daughter announced that she wanted to participate in the camp's one-week program the following summer. This summer.
Wow. I mean, wow! A child-free week, while both of daughters make tons of friends and have an insane amount of life-changing fun? Victory for Team Tired Married Couple!
But a big question arose, and we probably should have seen it coming: "Mommy, can I bring Baba to camp?"
Negotiations have endured for months, and I'm not completely sure where we're landing on this very important point. On one hand, we want our daughter to have the comforts and reminders of home during her one-week, sleepaway camp adventure. It may ease potential homesickness for the first couple of days. On the other hand, we struggle with sending her to camp with something so precious, and we want her to enjoy a sense of independence.
What will our Great Compromise be?
We love the idea of a Pouchie Pal serving as a back-up lovey. It can even spend time with Baba to absorb it’s feel and smell well before camp starts. It may not be the same, but it’s a good reminder.
We’ve also considered a “just-for-camp” lovey, which we can go to the toy store together to buy, and will replace Baba for a week. (Even a possibility of a combination of these two options.)
We’re holding this approach in our back pocket: "You're going to be so busy and active at camp, that you're going to fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow!"
I'll admit that, with camp a few months away, we haven’t yet resolved the lovey issue. Negotiations are definitely ongoing. For now, my daughter is snuggling her Pouchie Pal with her Baba, knowing that her PAL can stand-in and soothe when needed. Not so surprisingly, she hasn’t quite come to terms with going to camp empty-handed. Camp, itself, is a new adventure for her and we see the power of her transitional object first-hand as she prepares for it.
For every new adventure ahead, may you find the bravery to try new things and a Pal to comfort you.