This week I welcome children’s author Nancy Tandon. Or rather Bun Bun, Nancy’s beloved childhood lovey.
And now, here’s Bun Bun, who goes by a number of names.
Bunny. Bun Bun. Mr. Hasenpfeffer. These are just some of the names I’ve had since being called to the highest position one can hope for: favorite. My owner will tell you she loved me from the first time she felt my silky fur (which she then rubbed off). But let me ask you this. How could a lovey – purportedly so precious, so cherished – have had such a hard life? All I can say is, love is complicated, and some humans, especially young ones, can be fickle and reckless.
Take the time I was carted inside a suitcase from Michigan to Massachusetts, because I was so loved that I couldn’t be left behind. How ironic the twist, then, when I was abandoned inside a toy box in a suburb of Boston for three whole months. My owner did cry when I was returned via the U.S. Postal Service. (A humiliating journey, but a story for another time.)
Then there was the day I was trusted into the care of the family pet, who chewed off half my face and ate one of my eyes. The horror! Luckily, the person in charge of my owner had a piece of yellow ribbon that she used to sew up my gash. I also got two new shiny button eyes out of the deal. (I will admit, it was nice to see clearly again, as some degree of cataracts had started to build up in the old ones.)
The worst, though, were the daily injustices. The older siblings of my owner loved to use me to play a game called Monkey in the Middle, which always confused me, as I was and have remained a Bunny. Nevertheless, they would toss me back and forth while my owner frantically ran back and forth below me, waving her short, ineffective arms my way. Soon the boy sibling would tire of this game, and would then commence to chasing me and my owner around with a metal pot from the kitchen, yelling “Give me my hasenpfeffer!”
Of course, to be fair, there were the quieter times, when I would be tucked lovingly against my owner’s stomach as she snuggled into bed, or propped on her lap to be read to for hours. Another delightful memory was having my very own wooden pink high chair, just my size, that would be pulled up to the table so I could enjoy family meals. Sunday mornings were a favorite, as any errant batter from the waffle iron was peeled off and declared a “Bunny pancake.” I can still see my owner carefully blowing on my morsels so I wouldn’t burn my tongue.
I had a major health scare in 1980. My innards, which were attached to a winding mechanism so that I could sing a soothing tune, stopped working and started poking out through my thin skin. So, the grandmother of my owner took me to a special hospital. It looked a lot like a sewing room. I must have passed out, because when I woke up, my hard innards had been removed, and a delightful piece of yellow and white checkered cloth covered my back. During my recuperation, that same woman made me a smart pair of denim overalls. They matched my owners, and we were quite the snappy duo as we explored the world on her banana seat bike, me tucked in the basket up front, the wind blowing through my thinning hair.
Upon reflection, I guess I do see it…how I was cherished and precious. And coming out of retirement to attend the launch party for Lucy’s Lovey reminded me that true love never fades, no matter how long one is left in the cupboard. What a thrill it was to again be treated like the celebrity I know I am. (The photo booth was my favorite!)
Hold onto your loveys, world. We’ll always be there for you.
Nancy Tandon is a children’s book author who loves all kinds of stories. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children, and a little nervous dog named Bonnie. Nancy has worked as an elementary school teacher, a speech-language pathologist, and an adjunct professor of Phonetics and Child Language Development. So far, writing is her favorite.
Nancy’s debut middle grade novel, SAY MY NAME is forthcoming from Little Pickle Press/Sourcebooks.
She loves to connect with fellow story lovers! Find her at www.nancytandon.com, or on Twitter @NancyTandon
Thank you, Nancy and Bun Bun, for joining the #WhosYourLovey train. For anyone who would like to share their childhood lovey story, please be in touch. I appreciate all the wonderful lovey stories coming my way. Betsy