Claire has never really had a true lovie, comfort item, or whatever you want to call it. There has never been a consistent object that she would not part with, she wanted to bring to bed, and she looked for the first thing in the morning. The usual suspects have failed the test. She likes her stuffed animals well enough, but they are really just regular toys that end up getting scattered around her room and then summarily ignored. She likes her purple sleep blanket, but she does not normally use it outside of sleep time.
So imagine our surprise when Claire developed a strong, dedicated attachment to a pen. Actually, it’s a highlighter. A green one. But we call it a pen.
She tracks this pen with great dedication. She holds it in the car seat on the way to school. She walks it to the front door of the school, where I finally collect it from her. She asks who is going to pick her up, and which car we will be in. If the afternoon car is different than the morning car, then she asks if we can possibly transfer her green pen to the other car so she can have it immediately after school. At night, she always holds her green pen during story time and puts it down on the floor right next to the bed when it is time to turn out the lights. Occasionally there is a small panic if we cannot find said pen before bedtime. It is truly a lovie. Except she is not allowed to cuddle with it in bed. You know, because of the pen marks and all.
This pen is the sister of a purple highlighter Claire’s her mom gave her for entertainment in the hospital when she broke her leg. I think that was the seed for why this pen is special. Claire quickly dried the purple one of ink, and we ended up giving her the green one as a replacement. She quickly dried the green one of ink too, but she still carries it around and has not lost interest yet.
Publisher’s Note: On the night of July 30, 2009, Claire really, really lost her green pen. However, by pure luck, she was distracted by some new Horton Hears a Who! finger puppets, which she took to bed in her pen’s stead. Over the next week or so, the finger puppets have yielded to a “squiggly straw” as her new comfort item. So we are officially over the missing green pen. But that pen definitely held the record by far for number of days as Claire’s lovie.