All you gender un-essentialists out there, consider this:
my one year old is passionatey in love with her shoes.
I'm not kidding, either. She rocks them like they're baby dolls. She makes up songs about them. One of her only words is: "Shoe." Or, alternatively, "My shoe." [insert relieved giggling and much hugging of said shoe.]
Sometimes, if she's crying, you can give her a shoe and she'll stop.
Sometimes, she takes her shoes to bed with her like a not-so-cuddly security blanket.
This one is her absolute favorite: