I don’t know what it is, but rituals provide us with comfort, structure, stability, and often times, sanity. We have them as adults, those patterns of actions that soothe us, that help us unwind, that get us prepared for the day ahead. Kids love ritual too, probably more than us adults. For example…

J loves to have a cup of warm milk to start her day, and her dolly must accompany her downstairs. However, the dolly cannot be warm. It must be cool. Thus, she has devised a method of holding the dolly such that no warmth is transferred to the dolly while holding it. How, you ask? By holding it at the very tip of the end of the head cap. (It’s a Babi Corolle, one of the soft ones, in case you’re wondering) Furthermore, her parents must also carry the dolly in the exact same manner if she has forgotten the dolly upstairs, as she occasionally does.

We’re generally ok with all of this, of course, recognizing that all children have their security objects. As far as it goes, we don’t allow her to take her dolly out, she stays in the house, and J only really keeps the dolly with her in the morning, and for sleeping.

We’re curious to see how long this ritual lasts, since the morning bottle, now the morning cup, has been with her since baby-hood… Hmmm… I think it’s time for my morning cup of tea… 🙂

[update] this morning she dropped dolly in down behind the bed, where it got all dusty. So we said that it had to go in the wash, she can’t have it back. So when we came down this morning, she said, “I’m so frustrated about not having dolly that I’m not even going to have my milk today, ok?” Her words.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kbushling on 2006/09/04 at 7:53 PM

    Ah, the morning rituals – how frustrated we can be, like J, when those rituals are broken.

    I remember how specific some of those rituals can be from working at Second Cup early in the morning and serving everyone’s specific requests.

    It’s almost embarrassing when others catch on to my rituals like the ladies at the cafe in the office who know what my morning order is before I say anything.

    We are creatures of habit, are we not?

    Hang in there J – dolly will be clean soon!


  2. Posted by divine_conspiracy on 2006/09/05 at 3:33 PM

    i wonder if it doesn’t give us some small measure of comfort to be that familiar with strangers… like those who know your order before you say anything, that sense of being known by someone else is reassuring.


  3. Posted by kbushling on 2006/09/05 at 11:07 PM

    Actually, I don’t find it that reassuring as opposed to feeling shy & embarrassed.

    I’m not sure why – perhaps b/c these “strangers”/acquaintances know me well enough to predict my behaviour?

    Rituals, especially morning ones, are almost sacred b/c they have such power over our day. I suppose that I don’t like the thought of that power resting in the hands of someone other than a good friend/family member.


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