Saturday, February 11, 2006

Importance of comfort objects

So we all understand how important those "lovies" of childhood are...the blanket, the pacifier, the clown, whatever. But now, I have discovered the true reason behind the significance. No, it's not the psychological benefits of transference, it's not the physiological comfort of something soft to hug. No, it's much more basic and scientific.
Tonight, my six year old's "lovies", Kitty and Pillow (the very imaginatively named stuffed cat and pillow he sleeps with) were, even to his nearly-immune nose, stinky. He requested they be washed. Unfortunately, it was about 20 minutes before bedtime when he made the request. Apparently they were really smelly (I refused to verify the smell myself, choosing instead to take him at his word) and he decided that he could try to go to sleep without them if we promised to bring them up as soon as they were dry.
About half an hour after we left the room, he came down to tell us that when the blanket was on him, he was too hot, and when it was off, he was too cold. Don went up to try to get the correct balance of blanket vs. non-blanket. After several frustrating minutes, he says, "See, Dad, this is why I need Kitty and Pillow. They help to stabilize my temperature."
Who knew?
Kitty and Pillow are now clean, dry, and smell like fabric softener. They are safely tucked up in bed with a slightly sweaty, but sound asleep, future lab scientist. Or perhaps, meteorologist.