Monday, February 14, 2011

A Gaia story

As you might know, Gaia is Asya's beloved blanket that she sleeps with and carries around. Gaia is almost like a member of our family. In Asya's eyes, she definitely is.

As you probably also know, Russian grandmothers run society. It's their job to be sure that all is done Right in the world. And apparently, carrying around a blanket when you're three (or ever) is not Right.

One babushka in particular is really bothered by Gaia. This babushka also happens to be the champion meddler. She was never able to have any children of her own (because her own mother let her get too cold when she was little, you know), but her education and career were centered around preschools, so she knows everything there is to know about raising children. She's always telling me about the evils of blanket-carrying (and dressing children too lightly), and I always thank her for her concern and go on with life. A few months ago, she bought Asya a nice new blanket and told me to replace "that old rag" with it. I thanked her, kind of tried to explain that Gaia is irreplaceable, and set the blanket aside for the new baby.

Today she came up with a new strategy. She bought another nice, new blanket... but this time she was going to do the replacing herself! She was going to actually do the trade out at church and get rid of "that old rag"! Fortunately, Will stood up for Gaia, and brought her home. Maybe this new blanket will have to be our church Gaia, while the real Gaia can stay home and rest once a week? Or if I just set it aside, I wonder how many blankets for the baby we'll end up with?

(I don't want to sound like I don't appreciate the older generation. I do. I love that they're so concerned about us. And I'm not making fun. Sometimes I just have to laugh, though.)


monica said...

i can TOTALLY relate. I got many words of advice on how to bundle my babies, what to feed them, how to nurse them. I appreciate that you can laugh, because sometimes I just got mad.

Alissa Maxwell said...

Have you read the story, "Owen" by Kevin Henkes? It's one of our favorites! The story is based on a meddling neighbor (Mrs. Tweezers) who says Owen is too old for his "fuzzy yellow blanket." Owen's parents try everything to get him to give it up, but he works just as hard to protect it. In the end, Owen's mom has "an absolutely wonderful, positively perfect, especially terrific idea." She cuts the blanket into smaller squares and sews hankerchiefs. "So now Owen carries one of his fuzzy yellow hankerchiefs with him wherever he goes... And Mrs. Tweezers doesn't say a thing." (because, of course, Mrs. Tweezers is always seen holding a hankerchief herself)

We had a friend her who did something similar. They established a smaller "outside" blanket for Ally to take out in public, but kept the big one for in the house.

All that being said, I'm glad you are a strong and confident mama and are able to look past the meddling babushkas and let your children develop just as they should!

Baba Julie said...

Well, the new blankets are very nice! You may soon have a house full of them! However, Gaia is a part of the family and that's just the way it is!! I wonder what the Babuski would've said about Abby and Fuzzy!! We had to call and try to find Fuzzy (the bear) when we thought we had left him in the hotel room in Denver on the way to Vale WHEN ABBY WAS A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL!! (: We even talked about going by there ourselves and looking, but they assured us he wasn't there!! Thankfully, Abby had really left him at home!! (: Wonder if she still has him and if he now sleeps with her and Jeremiah? (: Love y'all!

Mom said...

And I am reminded of "goggie." IMHO you do a marvelous job of respecting the older generation meanwhile providing for your own children.

We love you.

Phyllis said...

Alissa, we actually do have that book in a collection of children's stories. I had forgotten about it. It used to be a little too traumatic (the thought of cutting Gaia up...!), but it would probably be fine now.

Another Gaia story: when we do "Morning School," everyone has to wait until Asya brings Gaia to join us. We can't start if Gaia can't hear what we're reading.