26 May 2016
We have a new family member of the Jones household called Kevin. Kevin right now is driving me insane. I have decided I don’t like Kevin very much. Kevin has the ability to turn the house into chaos.
Kevin is a 6 inch Unicorn.
Kevin has been sent to torment me and I am fighting the desire to drop him in a local bin or even worse put him in the washing machine for a well overdue bath.
Sound familiar?! Well the battle of the transitional objects whether they are beloved blankets, stuffed animals, underwear items or even a mere label is something well known to millions of families worldwide.
Parents really get to understand the value of the chosen object when you lose it or forget it. So what is it that made Frankie our granddaughter choose ‘Kevin’ to be her chosen solemate?
Well according to professors at the University of New York studying Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena they state:
'The specificity of the child’s preference — and affection — parallels the developing ability to feel a strong specific attachment to particular people. The transitional object is “a bridge between the mother and the external world"'.
Hummmm, to be honest it’s a very adaptive mechanism, if you think about it. That a child understands that there are things other than Mum or Grandma that they can hang on to that help them retain that comforted and comforting feeling.
Okay Kevin you are starting to grow on me again.
I have tried and failed to substitute Kevin for other more convenient objects I have had to hand whilst a nurse frantically tries to immunize her leg; but Frankie is guided by her own mysterious and passionate preferences and beautifully slam dunks all other offering either on the floor or out of the car window.
Kevin to me will no longer be the scruffy, worn out stuffed animal that took all my frustrations as I continually lost him but instead will now represent a reminder of the challenges of separation for children and the consolations and complexities of attachment in the early years.
Kevin and the familiar image of Frankie clutching him round the neck is indeed rather sweet and mildly humorous, occasionally frantic and even desperate at times, but it will now remind me that learning to negotiate, and even enjoy, partings and reunions is part of the whole assignment called life.
Kevin you are forgiven.
(Managing Director of Evolution Childcare)