The prairie dog
Bun Bun has finally selected a comfort object. It’s a black-tailed prairie dog. (Stuffed. [I mean, it’s a stuffed animal, not a taxidermied actual prairie dog or a live prairie dog, both of which would be unacceptable.]) My mother got it for Bunlet while we were in New Mexico, so naturally Bun Bun prefers it to any of the many stuffed animals people have actually gotten for HER. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, and I love seeing her walking around clutching a stuffed animal to her chest just as much as I imagined I would. Plus it’s great to have something I can give her when she’s upset that helps her calm down, and where’s your prairie dog? is a great way of distracting her, and, needless to say, the way she pronounces prairie dog is pretty afuckingdorable.
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a lot more solo childcare than usual lately–Mr. Bunny’s been gone a lot. It’s been fine part of the time and horrible part of the time and somewhere in between part of the time. I was having a bad moment last night. Bun Bun was being fragile, which was making me mad, despite the fact that getting mad was not going to help AT ALL, what she needed was cuddling, but I was just so tired of the sensation of someone clinging to my legs, and the sound of whining and shrieking, and I wanted to fold the damn laundry that was strewn all over the bed. I was on the point of putting her in her room and closing the door on her.
This is not something I’ve ever done before. However, this is totally something I expect to do in the future. I happen to believe separating child and parent is a valid way of resetting both parties, and am not interested in your opinion that it’s abusive. But I’m not quite ready to go there yet, maybe because I’m not sure she’s ready for it to be a productive strategy, or maybe because when I do it, I don’t want to be angry, I want to be a bit more deliberate about it, which has probably never happened in the history of the world… Anyway, I was on the point of doing it, which I suspect would have resulted in her sobbing for who knows how long, and me feeling like a total monster, and probably being a worse parent for the remainder of the day because I’d be all guilty and frustrated. But she’d dropped her prairie dog. And I was NOT going to lock her away without her prairie dog. And in the time it took me to pick it up, I changed my mind. Instead, we cuddled on the bed, and then she let me fold the laundry while she sat there. Clutching her prairie dog.
Thank you, prairie dog.