Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Princess and the Pea - a Bedding Story

Lilly has never liked blankets. When she was a tiny baby, she couldn't do anything about it, but from 6 months on, she refused to keep a blanket on herself while sleeping. Luckily we keep the house somewhat warm, and put her in cozy pj's, so she's done ok.

Then we moved to NZ, and there was no real heat. Most nights during their winter we were freezing - did I mention there was no insulation in our house in addition to no heat? So we had to buy really thick warm pajamas since Miss Lilly Lou wouldn't tolerate a blanket.

But at some point, a child needs a blanket, right? When we moved back here, we got Lilly her first big girl bed, which she absolutely loved. And on top of it, there was a new (to her, it was a hand me down from her cousins) blanket with the Disney princesses. She LOVED it. It was so pretty, and she LOVES Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, all of them really. She loved her new room, she loved her new bed, and she loved her new blanket. Except... she wouldn't keep it on at night. As soon as she got into bed, she peeled it down to the bottom of the bed and wouldn't even let it touch her feet. Even the sheets, she wouldn't keep on, it was too restricting. Which was fine, in the summer, but it does get cold here in Virginia (especially this winter!). Furthermore, when you have a big girl bed I just feel like you need to use the covers, or else why even have them?

One night in October, Jon was out of town and Lilly had a little cold. (Can I take this moment by the way to thank God that she has been so healthy for the past year? Only a couple mild colds, it seems like the asthma thing has been relatively gone for 2 years now!) Since I'm a mommy and I freak out when my child has a runny nose, and also because I get a little lonely and nervous when Lilly and I are home alone (not to mention, I sleep like a rock so if the princess was to have a coughing fit, I wouldn't even wake up), I took my sleeping ladybug and put her in my bed. She curled up in the sheets and duvet and had a restful night's sleep. (OK one last interruption - can I sincerely thank God again for letting my little girl be such a good sleeper in general - rarely wakes up at night, and sleeps until 7 am no matter when she goes to bed.) I woke up in the morning and - to my shock - this little girl was cuddled into my down comforter. I did a double take. Was she really still covered by this blanket? For the first time in years did she actually stay warm from keeping her covers on? I was amazed.

Of course I shouldn't have been amazed if I had thought about it. Lilly is a princess. And therefore she is like the spoiled princess and the pea. She decided somewhere in her infancy that she would only sleep with a duvet and down comforter, and not some shabby little baby blanket. She deserved the best, and here was my hint to buy it for her.

I still wasn't totally sure. Maybe she slept with the cover on that night because she was sick, or because she was exhausted, or because she liked being next to me. (We rarely have her sleep in our room.) But I was willing to test my hypothesis. I began searching duvet covers and down comforters. I realized that with her theoretical asthma & breathing issues, down alternative might be better than a regular down comforter. Furthermore, it needed to be a washable down alternative comforter, which is not as common as you'd think - many are dry clean only, and for a little girl who at some point we'd like to cut the cord with the nightime pullups, I figure she's going to have an accident here or there, so it would be nice to throw it in the washing machine if necessary. Oddly enough, the only two places that I could find a down-alternative washable comforter was Pottery Barn Kids and K-Mart. PB Kids was back-ordered, and K-Mart's was cheaper (and on sale on top of that!) so there we go. Then I got her a very pretty understated girly pink duvet cover from Land of Nod - mostly plain except for a couple big fabric flowers. She absolutely LOVED it when it arrived, and was so excited to put it on her bed. (I also got the matching pink ruffly curtains which we both love as well, and some sheets that were on sale at Pottery Barn Kids that just happened to match perfectly - white with pale pink, green, and yellow tiny flowers, which I feel like remind me of bedding I used to have as a child.)

And it worked. For the past two months now she LOVES sleeping with her duvet & down (alternative) comforter. She pulls it up to her neck when she gets into bed, and even likes "playing bed" with me - having me pretend to put her to sleep just so she can cuddle with it. I guess if you know Lilly, this story shouldn't be a surprise - my girl likes the nice things in life. But still it always does make me think - she truly is a princess.

(This post was inspired by the fact that Jon the other night, after putting Lilly to sleep, came out of her room and said "Lilly's comforter is the most comfortable thing ever! No wonder why she loves it so much!")

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