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My Knuffle Bunny and Me

Posted by Patriciaaobrien on Sep 27, 2011 in Musings of a Green-Eyed Girl, Parenthood

I get the dark haired boy on the bus.  Then it’s time to go get my blondie off to preschool.  I find him still in bed looking incredibly like the baby that he is no more.  I inhale his smell, the sweet scent of his skin and hair, of him.  I snuggle into his warmth and softness despite the fact that I know we should be getting ready to go.  How many more moments will I have like this one?  Where his cheeks are so squishy underneath my kiss?   Where he twirls my hair around his little fingers and puts his little boy arm around me?  These are the slippery moments that I must inhabit fully, even as they fall through my fingers.

I fear he will be hard to get going since last night’s sleep was restless and too short.  But as I move to get his clothes, his little voice says, “Get me.”  We go upstairs, me and my knuffle bunny, to pick out his outfit.  I reach for a t-shirt from the drawer, but he wants to check out the closet for “shirts with buttons”.

As he struggles to push and pull those tiny little buttons into tiny little holes with tiny little fingers, I remind myself to be patient and let him find his way.  I’ve been reading a parenting book that tells me I need to encourage autonomy and not step in to solve all his problems for him.   I give him some advice (which is allowed).  He works and persists until he has gotten that button into it’s hole.  Then we discover it was the wrong hole.  I wait for the frustration, but instead he gives me a big toothy grin and says, “Now what do we do?”  This surprises me and makes me smile.

He doesn’t want to wear undies.  But, when I offer him a blue pair, he decides to wear them because that’s his best friend’s favorite color.  Oh, the simplicity.  He doesn’t want to go to school.  He doesn’t like his teachers.  Then he remembers that his lost slug might be at school.  Suddenly his face brightens.  He loses the wilted flower look, sits upright and bounces up and down at this thought.  Now he is a man on a mission.

We grab an apple on the way out the door.  They are doing some projects and he needs to one today.  He picks the green one and tells me it’s cause it’s little and he likes little ones.  He says he’s going to eat it.  I grab the big red one, just in case.  As we get in the car he asks me, “Where will you be when I’m at school?  Where will you be when you leave?”  His question catches me off guard.  It hasn’t occurred to me that he might think about this.  I give him my answer and he is satisfied.  I ask him why he wants to know.  He tells me he just wondered where I would go.  Then he moves on.  No fuss.  No big deal.  But I am fascinated by this question and the thought behind it.  I am fascinated by this little boy.

When we arrive at school, he shows me the hole in the little green apple where he has dug his fingernail into the skin.  So I reach for the big, red, just-in-case apple.  But he says he wants to eat it.  We take both apples and he does indeed take a few bites out of the red one.  We end up leaving the green one.  Life is not perfect.  And I’m okay with that.

He is clingy.  He comes back for more hugs and kisses. Then he remembers his slug.  I tell him to go ask his teacher if she found it.  Off he goes.  Off I go.  Off time goes.  But this morning will remain in my memory.

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Bunny Love

Posted by Patriciaaobrien on Sep 15, 2011 in Musings of a Green-Eyed Girl, Parenthood

I’m not sure exactly how it began.  It may have been the rabbit family that hung a home-sweet-home sign in our neighborhood.  Daily sightings of a mama bunny and her baby, munching and hopping through our backyard.  An even smaller baby bunny that we nearly shocked out of his fur .  He shot out of the bushes and ran frantically in circles as we turned on our table saw to finish up the swingset we were building.  When he finally found an escape from the garden wall, he hunkered down in the tall grass and did not twitch even a baby bunny whisker for hours.  We feared his heart had stopped.  But the bunny statue was not there the next morning, so he must have recovered.

Then our neighbor discovered a nest of impossibly tiny baby bunnies in her front yard.  Their were treks to see the baby bunnies.  There was much instruction on not touching the baby bunnies.  There was a fiasco the day the growing baby bunnies left the nest and hopped in all directions as neighborhood kids scrambled to herd them back home.  And a couple of boys who could not keep their hands off those baby bunnies took the opportunity amidst all the chaos to grab one up and hug them tight.

Or it may have been my visit to the potential preschool.  Gracie The Bunny, as she is affectionately known in my house, is the resident pet.  My bunny crazy boy finally got to meet her over the summer.  We got to hear a lot about her.  Now twice a week, when I pick him up, we make the trip downstairs to the room where Gracie lives.  We watch and wait as Gracie lies in her cage or hops about the room.  When she decides to come see us, we reach our hands over the fence and pet her furry head.  We reluctantly peel ourselves away and wave goodbye when Gracie hops back into her cage.

Or maybe it was when Grandma made a treasure trove of felted animals for Easter and bestowed some bright yellow chicks and brown and white bunnies upon us.  These bunnies became our companions at home and out and about.  So well loved they became various pieces of bunny anatomy.  An ear, a nose, a cotton tail;  unrecognizable to the unfamiliar eye.  On a recent trip to Grandma’s house, my boy came home with a great big orange bunny.  His name is FoFo.  The boy doesn’t like it if you don’t remember the bunny’s name, and he takes the bunny everywhere.

While out shopping this week, he spotted a soft bunny with pure white fur.  It was part of a gift pack for a baby girl.  It was sitting in a stroller in front of a display of baby items.  It caught his eye immediately.  Of course he begged me to buy it.  In the end he admired it, took it for a spin in the stroller, and responded to my insistence that we not buy it today, with, “But, it’s beautiful, Mommy.”  It is beautiful.

Today was my boy’s first day to be the snack buddy.  Choosing a snack for all your preschool friends is both a privilege and a great responsibility.  The fall chill in the air today called for some apples with caramel dip.  But, the piece de resistance,   cheddar bunny crackers.  The boy celebrates his new preschool pet and does not let his friends down at snack time with his boisterous, beautiful love for bunnies.

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