As with my recent post about Cam’s godfather, this is one of those stories from a year ago. My parents were visiting from Tzaneen, but staying at the guest house across the road as our spare room was finally fulfilling it’s role as a nursery. The Menlyn Guest Lodge is a five-star establishment, but the fact that all the staff knew my mom by name was not just due to attentive service.
Three weeks before, she’d come to help for the weekend. Cam was still in ICU and to give us space to come and go she decided to stay at the guest house. Her plan was to flit in while we were out, clean up, cook a meal and then flit out. Think domesticated fairy godmother. But as we were spending so much time at the hospital, giving her keys to our house posed a slight logistical problem. Colin solved this by leaving them at the guest house reception for her. The conversation went like this:
Colin: Hi. I live across the road and am dropping off keys for my mother-in-law who’s coming to stay here.
Pause. Moment of hesitation. And then the collapse of unflappable five-star professionalism …
Manager: How did you get that right?
Cameron’s sleep soother is a faceless grey bunny with silky blue ears known rather unimaginatively as Bunny. A friend of my mom-in-law’s bought it for him in Cape Town at the beginning of the year and he surprised us all with how he took to it. It was an integral part of the success we had with sleep-training and I don’t even attempt to leave him to self-soothe without it. As a result it’s just as important as nappies when I’m packing his bag for an outing.
Taking such a prized possession out of the house runs some risks and in January we had a near disaster when we left Bunny at a friend’s. It was two days before we left for a ten-day holiday and necessitated an return trip to the scene of abandonment before we left. ‘We must get a back-up bunny,’ we said, but somehow the months slipped by. However in July an opportunity presented itself when Colin’s aunt came to visit from Cape Town, and a back-up Bunny was finally acquired.
It was then that I realized just how dodgy looking Cam’s devotion had left Bunny. New Bunny had smooth fur, Old Bunny’s was distinctly matted. New Bunny’s ears shone with silky lustre, Old Bunny’s were dull and spit stained. With excitement over Old Bunny’s pending first bath, I placed New Bunny in the cot that night.
He was not so much rejected as utterly ignored. And so he remained for a month or more.
Not knowing what else to do I left New Bunny there and I’m happy to report that in the weeks that have passed New Bunny has slowly been accepted. Our first sign of this change was when he was flung from the cot along with Old Bunny when Cam was fighting off an afternoon nap. Since then I’ve found Cam asleep on New Bunny once or twice and Colin reports that some mornings he finds Cam happily playing with both bunnies. But the real evidence of the success of our integration programme is that New Bunny has started looking equally dodgy. Devising a bunny washing rotation programme is now apparently a matter of priority!