If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend of the family, you’ve perhaps endured the fury of a toddler compelled to listen to her favorite book with a word missed or a picture skipped. The point of the favorite book, for the listener, is that it remains the same. The more often the three-year-old hears the familiar sentences, the more content she appears. When a word changes, pleasure recedes: A beloved book has lost its identity. Trying to account for this passion for sameness, we may say that it reveals the toddler’s need for security. In a world crammed with new experiences, exciting yet unpredictable, the child treasures what she can hold on to. If even the book turns unpredictable, she loses what she has depended on. A friend’s personality has changed. We smile grown-up smiles at the child’s demand for perfect reiteration even if we retain that childish need in more acceptable form, addicted This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Interiors Issue 19 Prankster’s Paradise Is the nine-to-five grind approaching monotony? Arrive at the office early to even the playing field and invoke mirth for your co-workers. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots.