This is Bunny. Her full name — according to Jamie — is Bunny Rabbit (or as her preschool teachers like to joke, as Jamie pronounces it: Banyabit). Yes, Jamie is sure: Bunny is a girl.
Jamie and Bunny met last Christmas when an uncle of hers gave her to my little girl as a gift. Since then, they’ve never parted. Jamie has always loved stuffed animals, but none as much as Bunny.
Everyone knows Bunny, because Bunny goes with her (us) everywhere; to school, to bed, to the bathroom. She’s at family gatherings, at birthday parties, at the beach and at playdates. Bunny has seen almost as much of the world as Jamie has because she rides planes with us and cars and boats and strollers. Bunny always has a special place in my bag, and there is no arguing it. Jamie will not go anywhere without her. All hell breaks loose when she’s forgotten, and it does my eardrums a world of good to just go return for the forgotten rabbit and be late for wherever it is we’re going, rather than leave Bunny in the comfort of our home.
Jamie is pretty possessive of Bunny. When a classmate tries to reach for her friend and take her out of Jamie’s precious grasp, she screams bloody murder. Then again, Jamie is still in the process of learning how to share — but according to her teachers, she listens when she’s asked to share the toys she’s playing with. All except Bunny. That said, Jamie lets her teachers take Bunny from her so that she can explore, learn and perform during class hours, but Bunny has to be watching her. Even in Kindermusik when Jamie sits in the circle, she will hand Bunny quickly to me because she will not have anyone touch her precious stuffed animal.
In the middle of the night, I wake up in a panic because Jamie is screaming half awake. It appears she has “lost” Bunny and can’t find her. In my groggy state, I grope around and find Bunny centimeters away. Once Bunny is back in her grasp, Jamie falls back asleep almost instantly.
Bunny and Jamie also have conversations. “Are you scared of the thunder Bunny?” Jamie will ask while patting the furry head. “It’s okay, I’ll hug you.” Often enough, Jamie will come up to me with a frown and say, “Mom! Bunny’s not sharing!” Apparently, they fought over a toy. Or, I’ll hear Jamie exclaim, “Ow Bunny! You hurt me!” and this is quickly followed by, “Sorry Bunny. It’s okay.” I don’t know who is apologizing to whom, but it always works itself out in the end.
Jamie was once on the big kids’ swing with Bunny in one hand, and of course after a tiny push she lost her balance and fell forward — on top of Bunny. After she cried out her fall and was dusted off, she was overheard to have said, “I’m sorry Bunny are you hurt?” while hugging the doll that broke her fall.
Sometimes, Bunny is the reason that Jamie will show me she knows how to read. Funny enough, I cannot prove to people (including my own husband) that she can read, because Jamie will not “show off” for anyone. She’s very private about her talent. It’s very frustrating for me though because I can’t gauge the level of her reading ability. I got it in my head once to “ask Bunny to read with us”, and it was only then that Jamie complied and read a few words. She was quick to pick up on my ploy though, so a repeat was difficult.
A few months back, the pediatrician had a theory that Jamie’s colds were a result of an allergy to stuffed toys. He had us bag all her stuffed dolls and keep them away from her for a week. It felt like Jamie had lost her best friend. She wouldn’t sleep, she kept crying for Bunny (even in the middle of the night), and she was quieter than usual. To think: she already is a quiet observant little girl to begin with. The week after when it didn’t seem like the absence of the toys made a huge difference on her scratching and runny nose, I immediately put us all out of our misery and gave Bunny back to her. After that Bunny suddenly got glued to her side even more.
For the life of me, I cannot understand her attachment to this toy. Even before Bunny came along, Jamie had a favorite stuffed dog (with a very unique name: Doggie). He went everywhere with her too, but occasionally she’d trade him in for the company of another stuffed animal . He was a constant no doubt, but with Bunny it’s different. She wouldn’t have conversations with the other toys before this one. Before Bunny came into our home, Jamie would hug the rabbits in the toy stores and would make a big fuss when I’d ask her to leave them.
So what is it about rabbits that she loves so much? Could it be because she is a rabbit herself? What does she see in them? Could she be a Bunny whisperer in the making? Maybe there’s something about her personality that attracts them. Is she going to be a vet someday?
Her teachers say it is all normal and that I shouldn’t be worried about it (I never had this attachment bit with Sam). Sometimes the way Jamie is with Bunny is the way Sam is to her. She’s just mimicking what she experiences to something smaller than herself. And it’s really also her personality to be attached to a “lovey”. It might have even helped her cope with our move here, as a constant presence in her daily life while everything and everyone around her was changing.
So far, no other stuffed toy has been able to replace Bunny. Jamie will play with the new ones and include them in her fold, but after all that’s said and done she still goes back to her treasured friend. Bunny seems to have found that special spot in Jamie’s heart (and arms), and from the looks of it, she’ll be around for quite a while. Well, for as long as she makes my own little bunny happy and helps her feel secure, then I think Bunny can stay as long as she wants. 🙂