When I was very small, I had Blankie. It was a soft thing -- made of cashmere and lined with satin.

I remember snuggling with Blankie, night after night, stroking the satin until I fell asleep. Unless, of course, Blankie went missing -- then all hell broke loose.

My poor parents hadn't thought to get two identical Blankies (one as a backup, naturally), so when I misplaced Blankie, it was a damn nightmare.

I always wondered if it was a universal kid thing or some random thing that I happened to attach myself to as a child. When I had my first son, I quickly learned.

My first son, autistic from birth, didn't love being held. Wait, lemme rephrase that: My first son loathed any type of human contact. And let me tell you -- it was a RELIEF to find out he was autistic and not that I just smelled like Bad Parent or something.

Anyway.

My firstborn also had a Blankie, named, of course, Blankie, which I'd thoughtfully (and at the advice of my parents) bought four identical versions of. He'd been shuffling back and forth between my house and his other grandparents, and I knew a lot could happen to a lovie between here and there.

Blankie was a source of comfort until about age 5, when he decided independently that he no longer needed it.

My second son, having learned something from the first, received a lot of blankets. Baby blankets are invaluable -- they can be used for anything from cleaning up spit-up to catching the omnipresent diaper leakage, so I stocked up on as many as I could find when they went on sale.

That kid, of course, decided that a tattered white Blankie was HIS Blankie, and while I searched high and low for Blankie II, the best I could do was a pink one that was semi-similar. But it was no good -- despite APPEARING like his beloved Blankie, it wasn't the same and he rejected it.

My last child, my daughter, I assumed would love Blankie, too. Not the Blankie of the others, but her very own Blankie. For awhile, she did. She's formed an attachment to the ugliest, grossest, and most well *ahem* used Blanket we had in the house. It had a race car on it -- apparently a race car is what is needed to make her heart smile.

(Note to self: Lock this child in nunnery until age 35.)

More important than "Race Car Blankie," though, is this awful stuffed animal given probably to my firstborn when he was a baby, making it 11 years old. It looks older.

But she loves it, her Capitol Kitty, and brings it everywhere with her. Doesn't matter if Capitol Kitty smells like death or not -- Capitol Kitty is here to stay. (if only I had another one!)

Last night, I giggled as she had Capitol Kitty help me with cleaning up a mess of toothpaste in the bathroom.

"Why," I asked her, "do you call her 'Capitol Kitty'?"

"See," she pointed at the ratty-ass thing, "Capitol Kitty has all these colors -- brown, white, orange. She's a Capitol Kitty."

I smiled softly to myself as we scrubbed the floor with Capitol Kitty -- she'd mistakenly named her Kitty "Capitol" rather than "Calico."

I hope she never, ever changes that stuffed ratty thing's name.

Ever.

Do your children have comfort objects? What are they?