When we are very young, it is a common practice for our parents to give us a comfort object, usually a stuffed animal, that we develop a strong attachment to. My theory is that the species of said object will invariably determine certain sets of personality or occasionally physical traits that the child will develop.
I first became aware of this while at a family dinner. I was holding my nephew Kayden (who favors a stuffed monkey) who was clinging tightly to me with his hands and feet, as all the while, his brother Nekoda (who favors a dog) looked up at me with wide brown eyes and begged for some of the food that I had in my hand. Glancing over, I also saw my sister's boy, Zackary, carrying his stuffed giraffe as he loped calmly across the living room, looking very docile. It was then that I began to ask around: My sister Laurel had a moose, and is very long-limbed and somewhat clumsy, and had a particularly awkward, gawky adolescence. My mom had a bunny, and is a bit timid and anxious at times, but is soft and cuddly. One friend who favored a blanket is a particularly warm and comforting presence. I myself had a bear, and am very protective of my friends and nieces/nephews, to the point where I can be very vicious, however, I also feel very warm and motherly towards those I protect. To put the icing on the cake, tonight, my new nephew, Patrick, received his very first "lovey" in the form of a stuffed bear. Immediately upon closing his arm around it he began making a low growling noise. Kiya recently got hers as well -- a cat-- but has not quite acquired enough of a grasp on it to develop a bond. I will be watching closely.
This is a very powerful discovery, and could, if used wisely, be a very important tool for shaping the upcoming generation.
My first son is getting a stuffed Batman.