It’s really no contest. Would you side with a plastic one-dimensional character or a racing car driver/explorer/constant companion/intrepid traveller and best friend?
Bunny Bun Bun is my daughter’s favourite cuddly toy.
Bunny bun bun just had a birthday, with presents, a cake and candles. The household Barbie would never get that.
I even had to hide in the kitchen while he was quietly placed in the chair then I was joined in the hiding place for us all to jump out “surprise!” To his and everyone’s great amusement.
Barbie didn’t even….. get a look in.
Bunny Bun Bun goes on every holiday and weekend break, sometimes I’ve despaired when he just won’t fit in and I’ve had to call for help to dissuade her from bringing an entire wardrobe of clothes for him, shoes and all.
Bunny Bun Bun has been part of the learning to ride a bike, the first tentative journeys he was there faithfully strapped into the carry seat at the back to experience every bump and wobble.
I think Barbie gets left out in the rain.
He’s been through the wash, had an operation, had his portrait painted, had a special car made for him, is always getting new clothes dug out of the “these don’t fit anymore” basket. He was even gifted a pair of newborn baby shoes that were destined for my friends baby.
But Barbie will always just be barbie.“With Bunny Bun Bun, I like to throw him up in the air and catch, to cuddle him and to play ball with him.” my daughter says.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve traipsed around the house searching him out last thing before bedtime, because bed just isn’t bed without Bunny Bun Bun.
But I’ve just realised something, in all this time (it was his 2nd birthday) in two years it didn’t click for me. I was looking for pictures of him for this post and it’s like a family member I just I forgot to take decent pictures of. He’s been on every journey, at every night-time story and in every bed. and I can’t find a proper photo of him.
Yes I know, he’ll always look the same but it’s the journey isn’t it?“Will Bunny Bun Bun still be Bunny Bun Bun when I’m as old as you are?” she asks.
Yes, he will.
Meanwhile, Barbie will be in the recycling .
But this Bunny Bun Bun has a history as well as a future.
A Waldorf Education.
His older cousin is the resident “Bunny bun bun” at the Steiner Waldorf inspired kindergarten she went to. A Waldorf Education traditionally encourage the development of the whole child through play and imagination. This bunny bun bun enjoys a varied life of sleepovers, snack lunches, story times and fairy tales and I think has done for about 10 years, the odd stitch here and there.
It was part of tradition for all parents to knit their child their own bunny bun bun when the child was about to move on to school, so that each child takes a bit of the kindergarten with them to big school. A simple act of reassurance and security that travels with them for years. A fact that our bunny bun bun has shown. But he’s become more than that.
He is reasonably plain in decoration and unlike many toys on the market today he doesn’t light up, have moving parts, make a noise or be rearranged into another toy. He’s just simply a soft toy that can be cuddled and loved and transformed through play. unlike the Barbies in our house, he attracts emotional attachment from his child owner.
In Kim John Payne’s and Lisa Ross’s book ‘Simplicity Parenting, using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier and more secure kids’ (Ballantine Books) they explain the power of less toys in the home and those that remain of being the simplest ones “the less they do, the more they can become through play”
There is an explanation of Barbie as being more fixed. yes you can dress her but her ‘image’ will always sort of be the same. “Barbie does not invite much emotional investment from a child” *
So as I prepare my second daughter for school and she enjoys her last few weeks at the kindergarten, I gather the things necessary to make Bunny Bun Bun’s brother or sister (she says she wants a purple one)
I’m not much of a knitter so I’ll stitch it instead. But this time I’ll be aware of how much he will feature in our lives and this time hopefully our photos.
so for me there is simply no contest. It’s the soft cuddly ones all the way.
*further reading: www.simplicityparenting.com