Lucy recently had a sleepover at Grandpa’s and Grandma’s house – the very first one where she was the only grandchild sleeping over – so this was a big deal. She had a great time, and came home about as tired as we expected her to be following the overnight.
Shortly before bedtime that night, we got a call from the grandparents. Among the many toys that joined her for the sleepover was her beloved Bunny.
Bunny, Grandma informed us, didn’t make the return trip. She was still at their house.
In a valiant effort to avoid a meltdown, CJ pulled out one of Lucy’s other favorite stuffed animals – Mouse, from the “If you give a mouse a cookie” book. Lucy hadn’t played with Mouse for a while, so we were hoping the novelty would avoid her asking the difficult question – “Where is Bunny?”
It worked for about 5 minutes.
Lucy: “Where is Bunny?”
CJ: “Sweetheart, Bunny is unfortunately at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. If the weather is good, we can get Bunny back in a few days.”
Lucy did not take that well. She spent the next 45 minutes sobbing, and wasn’t able to calm down, let alone go to sleep. At the 45 minute mark, I relieved CJ.
“Lucy, Let’s imagine Bunny is a scientist, and she’s in the field studying the unusual traits of Specius Grandma-icus.”
Lucy stopped sobbing. “That didn’t cheer me up, but at least I stopped crying.”
Well, it was progress. “Or we imagine Bunny is a spy…”
Lucy replied, “That didn’t cheer me up either.”
“Ok, what if we imagine Bunny was at Bunny Summer Camp? What kinds of activities would she be doing?”
“Canoeing?” Lucy asked.
Trying to be funny, I replied, “Would she use her ears to paddle?” Now, please understand that I pictured Bunny leaning over the side of the canoe, with her ears in the water. My intentions were pure. Lucy’s mind, however, went somewhere else entirely.
“Yeah, she would rip her ears off, and use them as paddles.”
Lucy breaks into mad giggles.
“Um, ok, what else would Bunny do?”
Lucy responded, “To roast marshmallows, she would rip her arm off, and hold it in the other arm, put the marshmallow in it, and stick it over the fire.”
Even more mad giggles. This summer camp had suddenly turned nightmarish, but at least Lucy was laughing about it.
“Lucy, I don’t think I EVER want to go to that summer camp.”
Lucy responded, “You have to, ’cause I signed you up for it!”
Sigh. It was morbid, but it got the job done. Lucy was able to calm down enough after that to go to sleep. The weather didn’t cooperate for several days, however, so Bunny ended up hitching a ride with the postman to get home.