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Bunny Hoarder

So you see: my kid has a bunny.  (A plush toy, not a little hoppy thing.) Someone gave it to him at a baby shower, and it was adorable, silky-soft & floppy, lots of easy-to-grab spots for baby hands, and not so huge as to be unmanageable for a little one.  So when he was old enough to need a lovey, he’d already been a big fan of Bunny for a while, and Bunny quickly became his ‘go-to’ toy when he really wanted someone to hug, and Mommy & Daddy weren’t available.

(The Boy tried to name Bunny “Rabbo-the Rabid-Rabbit” but I was having none of that.  Bunny is his name, as evidenced by the fact that Henry knows that Bunny is his name.  We have a morning routine, Henry and I, wherein I sing the Bunny Song and Henry dances Bunny around the crib. It ends in big hugs & smooches for Bunny–from me, from Henry, and even from Nellie [if she’s ambled in to see what all the noise is about and ask “is-there-anything-to-eat?” in her mellow-dog way.] Nellie covets the bunny, but while Henry is very good about sharing most of his toys, Bunny is special. Bunny is sacred. Bunny is NOT TO BE POUNCED ON BY THE DOG, lest there be tears.)

You probably think you know where this is going.  Something tragic must have happened to Bunny, eh?

Nope.  Contrary to my usual ‘catch-as-catch-can’ style of parenting, I actually realized a while back that having a back-up bunny might be a good thing.  Only problem was that I cut the scratchy tag off Bunny when he first was taken up by Henry.  So, there I was with an anonymous, much-beloved bunny, and no way (save dumb luck) to find another.

And then I got dumb-lucky.  I found another one, only it was the wrong size and the wrong color. But at least I knew the manufacturer. And using that, and the amazing powers of Detective Google, I managed to track down an appropriately sized, appropriately-colored bunny.  It arrived yesterday and I pulled it out of the box and marveled at the not-slubbed-together-with-milk-&-other-unidentifiable-goo silky-softness of its fur, the brightness of its non-scratched eyes.  Henry saw it and his face lit up (Bunny usually doesn’t leave his bedroom, because if it’s bedtime and Bunny is nowhere to be found, there is screaming, ranting hell to pay.  So not worth it. And here we were at the breakfast table and here is Bunny! Oh Joy! Oh Bliss!)  He reached for it and so I gave it to him. He clutched it to his chest, melodramatically.  Then he stared down in horror, held the new bunny out at arm’s length, and then dropped it to the ground.

And he looked at me.  No, he glared at me.”That is Not. My. Bunny.” his accusing look was obviously saying.  “You think I’m stupid just because I’m a baby and I eat lint and dog biscuits if you don’t stop me?”

Every morning we’ve been going through the same routine. He sees Imposter-Bunny at the breakfast table, swoops him up in an impossibly adorable baby-hug, then drops him like a middle-school BFF as soon as he realizes that Not-Bunny is, well, not Bunny.

Except when Nellie gets hold of Not-Bunny. Because even though Not-Bunny is not worth, you know, loving on or anything, it’s still too close a relation to Real-Bunny for the dog to be allowed to pounce it.  So here I am, no better off in the bunny department than I was a week ago, only now there’s another baby vs. Nellie bone of contention to wrangle over.

I’ve started sleeping with Not-Bunny, in an attempt to imbue it with some of that magical mommy-smell that Henry loves so much, hoping it’ll kick-start the adoption process much the same way that an airborne culture of wild yeast gets a new batch of sourdough bubbling.  And in the meantime?

In the meantime, I realized that I’m totally hoarding Bunny.  Yep, that’s me. I’m a bunny-hoarder. I’ve become one of those moms who have spare toys so their darling-dear won’t be upset in case of a bad toy-accident.  And I’m feeling so smug about it, that I’m thinking I might keep an eye open for a replacement “Cat-Cat” (Yeah, we’re really creative with names around here.)


16 comments to Bunny Hoarder

  • Brooke

    I once made a comment to a mom at the mall regarding her child’s “lovey”. It was a little doggy, made by Carter, with a blue checked ribbon around it’s neck. Her child was holding the dog and I mentioned that we had that exact same dog at our house, as my son’s room was decorated in that Carter theme. The mother (very excitedly) asked me if I would be willing to sell it to her, as she wanted a back-up for her son, but they were going for…wait for it…$80!!! on eBay. (Ridiculous, I say!!) Apparently the dog was in high demand by other Moms wanting a back up. I was tempted to put it on and get a bit of extra spending money, but fought the urge, and sent her the doggy free of charge. I had only paid $6 for the thing and my son never touched it, and it felt like the right thing to do.

    Susan Reply:

    A wonderful story! And yes, def. the right thing to do. Shouldn’t put a price tag on a baby’s lovey!!!

  • mo


    love this story. may your mommy magic rub off on the not-my-bunny bunny!

  • KK

    L’s lovey is a monkey. Named Monk.
    We have three of them. The 2 imposters were eventually fully-integrated. I had the most success by throwing 2 in the crib with him (the legit original and an imposter), the imposters would get loved in his sleep were eventually indistinguishable. Good luck!

  • pj

    Great post! So funny that he was “on to you” almost immediately! What a smartie.

    My girls have toys they like, but nothing they are particularly attached to like that.

  • I’m seeing the makings of what might become Isaac’s lovey. My mom sent him a baby Gund giraffe blanket and he absolutely goes nuts every time he sees it. He hugs it, strokes it, chews on the tag.
    I absolutely love that your little guy knew the difference between his well-loved bunny and the new imposter! Haha. Hope the mama scent rubs off and helps new bunny fit in better :).

  • Rhi

    Ohhh that picture is impossibly cute!

    No lovey for my little man (yet), but when my in-laws came up after he was born, they brought my husbands most loved childhood toy–a stuff lion named Roary. Poor thing’s mane is all matter and fuzzed out but wow did hubby’s face light up when he saw him!!

  • Melissa

    How cute is Henry and his bunny? Love it! My guy has “dangles” the monkey…dangle 1 is mine from about 7 yrs ago, dangles part deux I ordered a few months ago and they not only made it bigger, but of different material and cheaper ; ( Bastards! Just like your little detective, Josh sends new dangles flying as soon as he realizes what we have tried to do lol!

  • Cat

    We are equally unimaginative when it comes to naming. We have Caterpillar, Froggy, Blue Bear, Pink Bear, Puppy, Monkey, Duck, Blankey, and Washcloth. We have strictly kept their loveys in their cribs, but then they adopted other loveys from their toy collection, so now there are essentially upstairs loveys and downstairs loveys. My son has adopted four toys as his downstairs loveys and occasionally walks around with all of them clutched in his arms. Within the last month he’s discovered the silky tags and started rubbing them on his nose. I noticed this past week that he’s now rolling up the tags and sticking them up his nose. Awesome.

  • Now I’m wondering why my kid doesn’t have a lovey. Hm. He loves a few stuffed animals, a dog, a teddy bear [that was once mine] and a Winnie The Poo. But he doesn’t carry any around with him. I think duplicate loveys is an excellent idea though. Were you told that a child SHOULD have a lovey btw? I’mwondering if its something I need to introduce.

    Susan Reply:

    When I was desperately reading sleep books (because that’s what I do!) and several of them mentioned how helpful it can be to be able to hand the baby a lovey when he’s going to bed. It certainly helps even today, that I can tell him “you’re going to sleep with bunny & blankie & cat-cat and when you wake up you’ll come downstairs and they’ll stay up here.” I think it’s just an optional ritual, but I can tell you–thanks to my video monitor–that he reaches for bunny whenever he wakes up or quasi-wakes up. Usually sleeps snuggled on top of it.

    Dora Reply:

    Catching up here. (Happy Thanksgiving!) My girl doesn’t have a lovey. Alright, I’m her lovey. I’ve read that co-sleeping children often don’t have loveys. Actually, I won’t allow any toy into bed. Otherwise she will play instead of going to sleep. No books either. We read her bedtime story in another room, then go to bed for milk and cuddles (our term for bedtime). But that’s just us. Sleep is okay, but bedtime can be a challenge. So no stimulation.

    BTW, he is so scrumptious! Look more delish than pie!

  • Cutest story ever! You can’t trick Henry with your….tricks. I also love how you call stuffed bunnies “lovey.” I wish we would call them that in the U.S. I’m going to start.

    Susan Reply:

    Heheheh. I’m American, you know. I must have picked it up from Baby Whisperer books, if it’s not a U.S. sort of thing. Def. use the word–it’s appropriate!

  • Yep. Equally screwed over here should we lose track of Bear. And I also cut off the tag of said Bear, which we received as a gift – so I have no idea how to get another one. Hence I, also, try to have Bear stay in the bedroom to avoid Meltdown, but for sure, Bear NEVER leaves the house because I dread the day he is not available for nighttime love.

    Now, the sweet little blanky-bear-head I tried to get her to adore? She will have none. of. that. (Admittedly, a bear head attached to the middle of a blanket is kind of odd.)