Life with Lovey

Our babe has her first cold. I’m not sure if this is more difficult for her or for us. Sure, she notices her nose is stuffed up and that she constantly has snot running down that cute upper lip (coincidentally, these past few days have been the only ones where a fit doesn’t ensue when I wipe off her face), but your heart hurts when your little one can’t sleep. Last night as I woke with her at 5am (I had it easy – the previous evening my fantastic husband awoke almost every two hours to help pull boogers out of our babes nose), I handed her a lamb from her stuffed animal bin. We haven’t given her a traditional security object yet, mostly because it has slipped my mind and she generally goes to bed so well that I haven’t wanted to change whats working. Although last night as I put her down in her crib, I let her hold onto her little lamb. She held it with tiny fingers and I was greeted with such a ridiculous grin that I turned off the light and thought, “Maybe we’ve just started something.”

Now as I watch her in her video monitor playing with the lamb, she seems pretty happy. If this is all it takes, I’m wondering why we don’t all just have security objects into adulthood. I think perhaps I do, and its probably a hot cup of coffee (I say hot because cold does nothing for me). I remember when I was in grad school and we would do practice counseling sessions, I would always hold onto my cup of coffee. I had one professor who would take it away from me or keep telling me to put it down (I remember hating this too), because he said it was my security object. I guess so. I realize back to most situations where I might feel uncomfortable or unsure, I’ll grab a cup of coffee before I go. And its not so I have something to do with my hands, it is literally because I love coffee and it makes me feel better when its there. You could call that an addiction I’m sure, but I’m okay with that. If I meet someone new, its usually over coffee. If someone buys me a cup, I know I’m loved. Its strange what we decide our love language will be, but once we do, its sealed.

The arrival of the pumpkin spice latte has made the transition into fall alright for me. Back to work, back to routine, goodbye (for the most part) to the sunshine, but the other day when I drove through the lovely Starbucks Drivethrough on the Mukilteo Speedway (I love the baristas there), they put it into my hand and instantly I felt comforted by thoughts of pumpkin patches, changing leaves, drives to Leavenworth, thoughts of skiing, fall walks with Tony, and putting on my fleece and going to the beach with a hot cup of coffee to watch the fog over the water. These are things that are happy.

They say that there is a connection between whiffs of smell and episodic memory – apparently there is a privileged part of our brain that is devoted to olfactory associations – remembering these much more strongly than auditory or some other sense. “They” say this is because the olfactory cortex has a direct neural link to the hippocampus, whereas our other senses are processed somewhere else in the brain. So apparently this is why we sometimes cannot remember a memory until it is triggered by our sense of taste or smell. And THAT was your PBS lesson for the day.

Bottom line, Addie has a new lovey. It’s her lamb. As we go into fall, I embrace my old lovey. Coffee. A trip to the Red Twig in Edmonds. A drive through to Starbucks for an Americano or a horrendously overpriced Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ll take it all. Life with lovey, for myself, and now for my dear Addie with a cold, just sometimes makes life a little bit easier.