the tale of a tail
Recently she’s become very attached to one cuddly toy, not even one she was given, but one her Granby bought for Easter last year and never gave her because she was lucky enough to receive so many toys … it was under Granby’s bed, in a box … she went under the bed to hunt for a lost jigsaw piece and emerged triumphant with a small fluffy stuffed bunny, with a blue bow … and ever since, they’re rarely parted.
She took bunny (known as baby bunny or baby rabbit) in the car the other day, we got out and she was cuddling it and jiggling, “shhhh Mummy, my baby sleeping”, and then a few minutes later she stuffed her ‘baby’ up the front of her her top and walked along cuddling her tummy, “like Melly Mel” (a dear friend of ours is pregnant). We went to the chemist, and the butcher and walked along getting some very odd looks while she held my hand and clutched her tummy protectively. Anybody that stopped and looked was treated to the announcement, “my baby in my tummy”, and then a lengthy explanation as to how her friend Melly Mel has got a baby in her tummy too.
We had a bit of an issue back in the car seat as the straps wouldn’t do up around her furry baby. Eventually she took it out, cuddled it and said, “shhh Mummy, baby rabbit having milky” and nursed it all the way home.
She’s not been a one toy kind of girl really, there’s Eric who goes to music class with us (and who also appears on every page of my book) but that’s been more my doing than hers, and has become a bit of a tradition and recently even he’s been usurped by the lop eared interloper.
Baby rabbit went to the childminder with her the other day, I did suggest leaving it in the car to have a snooze while she played with her chums, but she wasn’t having any of it and off they both went. I picked her up later and was told that hop a long had gone everywhere they’d gone all day, and all the way to pick some other children up from school.
The next week, off they went again … only when I went to pick her up there was a problem, she was tear stained, and baby bunny was without a tail.
“Don’t worry, she can look for it and if it’s not found after tomorrow, we’ll go to the new tail shop and buy some material and make a new one” … placated her for the journey home. She then ran in and up the all and in to see Granby. “Rabbit’s got no tail” … Granby responded, kindly, “oh dear, did he lose it?” which was enough to push her over the edge.
She lay in the middle of the floor and screamed, “I want my bunny tail”, and then wept in a heartbroken manner for the lost tail. Nothing would calm her.
Eventually having carried her and bunny no tail upstairs I managed to calm her. She had a bath, laced with lavender oil to soothe her, and then about 3 gallons of milky all cuddled up on my bed. Then the tears fell, just sad, quiet sorrowful tears, worried that baby rabbit would be in pain with no tail.
She slept fitfully and cried several times in the night for the demise of cotton tail … the next morning we packed up baby rabbit and Hope’s lunch box and headed round to her childminder. The first thing that happened is that I was handed the lost tail … found under the sofa.
I pocketed it and left, overhearing her explaining to her small friend that “my bunny tail back, we take baby rabbit to doctor, he have medicine and tail all better and stay on”.
I put the small round fluffy tail in a cup in the middle of the kitchen table. When I went to pick her up she talked about nothing other than bunny’s tail. I said we’d sew it on together … we went into the house .. she refused to say good evening to her grandmother, she ran straight into “the room” (Hope-ish for sitting room) and pointed at my sewing box (only used once in the last year). “Mend it Mummy”, and plonked baby rabbit onto the sofa.
We sat together, she chose the cotton, she helped pull then needle through, and together we mended baby bunny’s tail. Stitched it back on. She was ecstatic, thrilled and utterly over the moon.
She gulped down her breastmilk with a great intensity, and then looked up and beamed, and I swear I’ll never be looked at with such love ever again. “Mummy I love you, you mended baby rabbit tail. He’s happy now, I give him milky too”, and there we were, me feeding her, she feeding baby bunny, and his tail being stroked and held by a very small hand. That truly was a milky moment, and a moment of unadulterated joy.
… and all down to the tail of the rabbit, and the importance of mending things together.