Before the twins were born, their grandmother bought them each a stuffed animal. "Puppy Dog" was destined for James and "Pink Bunny" was destined for Julia, and while James is clearly fond of Puppy Dog, Julia is in love with Pink Bunny. As in, you've never witnessed a baby more in love with her stuffed animal. She sleeps with Pink Bunny. She feeds Pink Bunny a bottle. She tries to burp Pink Bunny (which sometimes looks more like beating Pink Bunny with a bottle, but she means well). Once last November I could hear that she was awake from her nap but she wasn't crying. After 20 minutes I peeked in on her and she was just lying there talking to Pink Bunny and hugging it. (I e-mailed Mark that I thought Julia was making out with Bunny, and he asked if she'd left a scrunchie on the doorknob.)
Julia gives Pink Bunny a nice hug. (19 months)
Julia finds it hard to contain her enthusiasm for Pink Bunny. (10 months)
Julia sleeps in an interesting position while holding Pink Bunny. (20 months)
But recently there was a problem with Pink Bunny. Julia developed a fondness for chewing on Pink Bunny's right arm and, over the course of months of this, the arm had turned grayish-brown and picked up a smell to match. Let's review the photographic evidence...
Sometimes a chomp out of Bunny's leg will do in a pinch. (16 months)
The arm was also frequently damp and we began to wonder what sort of microscopic life it might be hosting. And because there was a music box sealed inside of Pink Bunny (pull the cord on its back for a lullaby) we couldn't just toss it in the washing machine.
Try to guess which arm Julia liked to chew on.
Possible mold colony close-up!
The solution? Buy a replacement Pink Bunny. My mom originally bought Bunny from Carter's for $8, but that was two years ago and they no longer sell it, so I looked online. The best price I could find, new or used, was on eBay for $25. (I suspect there's a thriving market of people stockpiling loveys at bargain prices while they're available and then reselling them later to buyers whose babies have lost their loveys.) But what choice did I have? I paid up and a week later a brand new Pink Bunny arrived at our house.
I asked Mark to take some pictures of old and new Pink Bunnies before Julia forever made new Pink Bunny not-so-new:
"Old Pink Bunny meet new Pink Bunny."
"Okay, pose together for the camera..."
"...and now new Pink Bunny will demonstrate its superiority."
Next we had to decide how to give it to Julia. Mark wanted to show her both bunnies together and blow her little mind but I thought that was a bad idea. I was worried enough already that Julia might instinctively reject new Pink Bunny. What if Julia sniffed new Pink Bunny and said, "I smell eBay!"? We decided to discreetly insert Pink Bunny into the mix of toys in the play area and just let nature take its course. And we caught it on camera:
Julia meets the new Pink Bunny: http://www.youtube.com/user/pilloff#p/u/0/93GqgW7pSko
My favorite part of the video is when Julia's suddenly turns her head and looks over Bunny like "That's not my Pink Bunny." But in the end she accepted Pink Bunny and as far as she knows new Pink Bunny is the one true Pink Bunny.
For posterity's sake here's a retrospective look at old Pink Bunny. This may be best enjoyed with Through the Years playing in the background.
Julia's a brave girl to wear Papa's shoes. (18 months)
Last known picture on July 14, 2011 of Julia with old Pink Bunny, taken while Julia tries to brush her teeth with a toy screwdriver. (19 months)
Now my worry is that Puppy Dog is next because his nose is always wet from James carrying it with his teeth...
James about to pounce on Puppy Dog's snout. (14 months)