The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...


Anthropomorphism is attirbuting human traits, emotions, and intentions onto non-human entities and this act of cognition is considered by some to be an innate tendency of human psychology.

Psychologists consider the concept a form of cognitive bias. We use brain patterns (schemas) to layer human qualities upon the non-human based on what we’ve come believe about the world we live in. Our ability to discern qualities and characteristics based on experience or knowledge allows us to make inferences about our environment, even if those inferences might be severly flawed.

This totally explains the relationship between a boy and his tiger.

Calvin’s need to anthropomorphize Hobbes springs from his lack of prior experience with things such as math homework, gravity or his mother’s homicidal oatmeal (see Letter O post later for this one). When lack of experience collides with an overwhelming necessity to interact with and understand your environment, you need a helper — someone else to tackle the math, challenge gravity and dispose of mom’s oatmeal.

Basically we all need a Hobbes.

This need makes us human — the desire to avoid going it alone into a vast, threatening and uncertain world. We all need a hand to hold even if it is stuffed, fuzzy and stripe-ish.

To everyone else, Hobbes is a toy. To Calvin he is compatriot, accomplice, occasional adversary and moral compass. The pile of fluff is “real” no matter what anyone says or thinks.

Without Hobbes, Calvin would be on this safari alone. Besides, when heading out on safari it certainly would be helpful, on multiple levels, to travel with a ferocious, albeit fuzz brained, man-eating tiger. Wouldn’t you agree?


Part of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge 

Updated: April 17, 2017 — 4:49 pm


  1. Great! I’ll be adding you to my list of blogs to follow through the A to Z! Looking forward to some chuckles.


    1. Thank you Janet. I will certainly be checking yours out as well.

  2. Omg! I sooo love this theme 🙂 I am looking forward to reading your posts.

    1. Thanks Jan. Just making the list of potential alphabetical responses was daunting — not as easy as I thought. Hopefully they will not disappoint.

  3. Wilson!!!! I don’t think there was a dry eye in thevery audience, we all loved that volleyball like we love our best friend. 😉

    1. Classic example. Thanks for reading.

  4. I’d take Hobbes with me on a safari for sure. I saw your theme, and loving C&H, I had to come check in out. I look forward to more. 🙂

    Discarded Darlings – Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

    1. Thanks Jean and I cannot wait to check out your challenge responses as well.

  5. We do all need a Hobbs!! What a great way to put it, Christina!

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