Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Tribute to Cozies

In our family, a baby is not well-equipped for life unless he has at least two (or three, or four...) baby quilts. It's a tradition. I make one or two while I'm pregnant with them and my mom does the same. When the kids are old enough to talk, we call their baby quilts "cozies." I don't know where the name came from but it stuck. The cozies are slept with, snuggled with, used to make forts, taken on trips, used as a floor coverings for picnics... you get the idea. They get used. A lot. And each of the kids has had his or her favorite.

Mike's favorite was a cozy that he called the Lellow. Lellow was Mikey-speak for yellow and calling a blue quilt yellow makes no sense until you notice that the quilt was tied with yellow yarn. While this was his favorite, he mostly slept with it or snuggled it while watching movies. If he couldn't find that cozy, another would suffice. He didn't have any meltdowns stemming from the lack of his Lellow.

When Mike was five or six, the cozies had been used and washed so much that they were beginning to get holes in them and the binding was almost worn through. I bought a big Rubbermaid box and told Mike that we should quit using the cozies and put them away so they wouldn't deteriorate and he could still keep them. I think there were some tears shed but he agreed. We had a countdown of maybe a month or so to get him used to the idea. When the big day came, I washed the cozies one last time and we put them away. My mom made another little cozy for him to snuggle at night and that was that.

Then came the Pink.

Noel didn't lack for cozies, but this one, dubbed the Pink, was far and above the favorite. This cozy went everywhere with us and a meltdown quickly ensued if it was lost or forgotten. If Noel watched a movie, so did her Pink. If Noel went somewhere in the car, so did her Pink. When she got hurt, she wanted Mommy or Daddy and her Pink. Noel was a thumb-sucker and she would stick her left thumb in her mouth, use her right hand to find one of the yarn ties (known as a fwuffy) and then rub the tie on her nose. She soothed herself to sleep like that for years. If a cousin or uncle grabbed her Pink and said, "This is my Pink," she would flip out. The Pink was used so much that it got worn out much sooner than Mike's cozies did. I let her use it until it was shredded rags. The back was completely separated from the front, there were rips in both the front and the back and some of the batting was gone. Every time I would suggest putting the Pink away before it eroded to nothing she would wig. I finally convinced her that I would make her a new Pink and that she would be happy that she had saved the old one. We used the countdown method with the Pink, just the same as we did with the Lellow, but we had to keep extending the deadline. One day, after I had washed what was left of the poor cozy, I told Noel that it was time. She cried, sucked her thumb, rubbed a fluffy on her nose, hugged the Pink, stroked it, and finally let me put it in the box. I was careful to put the box away where she couldn't get it because I was sure that she would have snuck it back if she could have. I made her a new blanket, a twin size to fit her bed, and we have moved on.

This is Adam's Cozy Cows. I am secretly thrilled that this is his favorite because I made this one. Mike and Noel's faves were both made by my mom. : )

I found the fabric for this quilt at some obscure quilting shop that was going out of business. The flannel I used on the back was ridiculously high-priced, something like $12 a yard but I got it for super cheap because the shop was closing. It is the softest, best quality flannel I have ever used. It has never pilled or changed texture. It is still as soft and smooth as the day I bought it. I bought the fabric because I liked it and hoped to have a baby to make a quilt for soon. This was during the three year period of infertility that we went through between Noel and Adam. When more time passed and I still wasn't pregnant, I finally resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be infertile forever and would just have to be grateful for the two kids I had been blessed with. I made this quilt, thinking that I would give it as a gift to the baby of a friend or relative.

Obviously, the dry spell ended and I soon had a sweet little guy to give the blanket to. We call it the Cozy Cows because it is a cozy and it has cows on it. Clever, huh? My mother, however, calls it the cozy cow which drives me insane. The Cozy Cow sounds more like a bed and breakfast for dairymen, don't you think? ("Here at The Cozy Cow, we take care of the milking. Go ahead - sleep in until 5:00!")

Anyway, Adam's attachment to this cozy seems to be headed towards a level "Pink" rather than a level "Lellow." When it is dirty I have to employ the same out-of-sight-out-of-mind technique that I employed with Noel and the Pink: wait until he's out of the room, throw it in the washer and then magically produce a clean, sweet-smelling cozy an hour-and-a-half later.

Seeing how much my kids have loved their cozies has inspired me to make them for the babies of friends. I have made some to sell but no one has bought any yet, which is disappointing but still okay because making them is fun and when future babies are born, I'll have ready-made gifts. In addition, I look forward to seeing which cozy will be Jack's favorite.

An Ode To Cozies
Written By Me From the Perspective of My Kids
(Got that?)

I love you in the night and in the daytime, too;
I love you when I'm wet and my diaper's filled with poo.

I love to rub your top and I love to rub your ties;
I like to pull you over my head to protect me from the flies.

You're always up for cozy time, reading books with Mom;
And just in case you weren't aware, I'll tell you - Mom's the bomb!

You're always there to save me from scary things in the night;
Though I'm not quite sure how well you'd do against Chuck Norris in a fight.

I like to have you with me when we're eating mashed potaters;
I rub some gravy on you; it's a real good snack for later.

You stay with me in my car seat when we go on long trips
And always catch the boogies when from my nose they drip.

My love for you is really big; I do not like to share;
If I lose friends because of you I guess I just don't care.

I wonder if it's legal for me to marry you?
Stranger things have happened in California it's true.

The day will come, sweet cozy, when you and I must part;
So until that fateful day is here, I'll hold you to my heart.


Perpetual Mommy Exhaustion said...

The Pink could totally take Chuck Norris in a fight.

You should know that Jake tried to cuddle with the quilt you made Kory and Kory LOST HIS MIND! "My vroom, my vroom, my vroom! Not yours!"

Well done.

Shea said...

Ahh The Pink I remember that one. It was ripped to shreds by the end. Robert was like that with a Dinosaur blank he had it was named Purple Dinosuar's. The dinosaurs where TEAL!! The backing however, was purple. Although that cozy is still in good shape.. :]