Eventually, after being hidden for awhile, I was able to wash it and get it back into Abby's bed, undetected. Then in April, Rob had a birthday and his mom gave him one of those pillows that is upright so that you can lean against them (like for watching TV). Within an hour it was up in Matthew's bed! Oh...but no worries, we've moved onto a new kind of "pillow". Out of the blue Matthew realized that he liked the floor mat of our car (you know, it's kind of scratchy on the top and has bumps on the bottom and well the other thing is people put their shoes on it and we already know shoes rule!). He would hold it in his lap and sometimes put it on his head when we would go for car rides. When we would get home, he would always try to take it out of the car. I kept insisting, "That needs to stay in the car!" I didn't figure out how he got the first car mat in the house, until I caught him a few days later trying to sneak the second car mat out of the car. He knew that if I saw him with the car mat in his hands it wouldn't fly. So...while I was turning off the car and getting out, he pushed the car mat out of the window so that it would already be on the ground. Unfortunately for him, I saw the mat on the ground and put two and two together.
You should know that he does have a blanky. It might not be a small, little one that you can carry around, but he does sleep with it every night. It is one of those homemade fleece tie blankets (where two pieces of fleece are put together and tied all the way around the edges). This thing is heavy and warm...but he will go to sleep covered with it no matter if it is the middle of summer. One of his favorite things is to have me tuck the blanket around him on all sides so that he looks like a mummy. Then he'll move and mess it up and sign "more".
So, we've covered pillows and blankets, but really it's very interesting to see what else Matthew takes to bed. There have been so many weird things over the years. In the beginning, I would be like, "You can't sleep with that!", but then I realized for him these things are like stuffed animals. They are things that he loves and that provide him comfort. There is usually something sensory about them (i.e. they are good for tapping, scratching, smelling, etc.).
Without further ado, here is a Top Ten list of some of his favorites (in no particular order):
1. Tinfoil pans (like you use when you make a turkey).
2. Egg cartons (without eggs, thankfully)
3. Disposable coffe cups (like from Starbucks)
6. Leaves (even the dry ones that break into a million pieces in the night)
7. Ceramic art project that he made at school
8. Boots (multiple pairs)
9. Wooden spoons (yeah...we can never find them in the kitchen...)
10. Watering cans (his own, but you can bet if he had a choice it would be our neighbors'...)