(NEW YORK POST) — Who needs a blankie when you have bedhead?
First-time mom Ilarni Clark, 22, hoped that by letting her baby boy, Harry, play with a mannequin’s hair, he would stop pulling her own locks as he tried to get some much-needed sleep.
But her bedtime plan backfired, as the 14-month-old tot is now obsessed with the “creepy” disembodied head and takes it with him everywhere. He naps, shops and dines with it.
“It started because Harry wouldn’t settle unless he was twiddling with my hair. He’s done it since he was a baby,” Ilarni tells Kennedy News & Media. “I couldn’t leave him with his dad, because he doesn’t have any hair to play with and he just wouldn’t sleep at all.”
The frustrated Sunderland, England, mom posted a plea on Facebook and a trainee hairdresser offered up a spare doll’s head with hair the same length and color as Ilarni’s, suggesting that Harry would play with it instead.
“He took to it straightaway — he absolutely loves it,” says Ilarni. “Then it started getting weirder. He carries it around everywhere he goes. He won’t eat his breakfast or his meals unless the doll’s with him.”
Initially, Ilarni and her partner, Callum Mackay, 21, would see the head and think it was a person.
“For the first couple of nights, I shouted, ‘Callum, there’s someone in the room!’” says Ilarni, a reception manager. “We’ve both done it.”
She’s even accidentally kissed the head — which her son has named “Baba” — good night after mistaking it for Harry or Callum. “I’ve gone over and given the doll a kiss by accident instead of Harry. It takes about half an hour to get back to sleep, because you get such a shock,” she says.
Recently, she wouldn’t let Harry take Baba with them on a car ride, and he lost it. “I refused to take the doll’s head with me, and he had an absolute meltdown and screamed,” she says. “I had to distract him with something else.”
The head, while spooking the family, has accomplished what Ilarni set out for it to do, though. Callum recently called Ilarni to tell her that Harry had fallen asleep on his own, without needing his carriage rocked.
“He’s never done that,” says Ilarni. As strange as it sounds, she’s standing by the method. “This is the secret — get a creepy hairdressing doll.”