Betty Bunny is a very popular bunny in the world of children’s literature, but she also gets a little bit of a bad rap because she’s pretty badly behaved. She’s in good company though–all the old and new favorites tend to be less than perfect as far as manners and overall demeanor: Olivia, Eloise, etc. Kids like to hear about other kids being bad apparently, though some parents have a problem with that. As ludicrous as it sounds, some moms have reviewed the Betty Bunny books as bad influences on their perfect children–kinda like rock and roll and video games I guess. For starters, she’s a BUNNY, so one would think even a 4 year old could make that distinction but you never know.
In all honesty though, I was once convinced that a fictional TV character was the sole reason for my 2 ½ year old’s Tasmanian devil type demeanor. My life felt like it was completely out of control…I was in full on Hitler appeasement mode. Once my husband talked me down from calling the priest and performing an exorcism, I focused my sleep deprived, post partum, and broken kaleidoscope of a brain on Caillou–a little known and super lame cartoon that my older daughter was obsessed with during the time I was trying to nurse her baby sister. It might still be on for all I know–destroying the minds of toddlers all over America. Truth be told, Caillou was kind-of a dick. There’s really no way around it. He had a little sister and both his parents worked and he was completely bald which they never explained–a fact that bothers me to this day. My daughter loved Caillou though, and I was quite convinced that her screaming fits and general reign of terror on our household was totally Caillou’s fault. So, naturally I banned Caillou and made her watch only old Barney tapes when the VHS wasn’t jammed with pee pee diapers or Zwieback crackers. Barney is super nice and all the kids that hang around with him are super duper nice too. They help each other and sing about love and rake leaves and make little owls out of construction paper, and guess what? My daughter’s behavior did NOT totally change! Shocker! She did not suddenly become the model 2 year old (oxymoron heaven!) My daugher still channeled Caillou and Eloise and Olivia and Betty Bunny and all the other bad kids and animals in the entire world. She colored on the wall and broke glass and threw blocks at her little sister and screamed NO about 5 thousand times a day and I still loved and still love her desperately and completely and utterly. Every night we would read books together and share kisses and hugs (the baby was already in her crib and she was so suddenly so sweet and cuddly…hmmm…go figure.) She would fall so hard asleep in my arms because it is exhausting being that bad all day and then it would all start up again in the morning with the anti-potty training campaign and flying waffles and overflowing sinks for doll baths. It seemed like that time in our family life was at least the length of a lifetime or two but it was probably only a few months and then we were on to the next phase. Bottom line: it wasn’t Caillou’s fault and it won’t be Betty Bunny’s fault either. Kids like to hear stories about kids or animals who get up to stuff that isn’t always good stuff and their parents love them still–unconditionally and always. Betty Bunny kinda rules; we can’t keep the books on the shelf in the library and we have second copies on order.
There are a bunch of Betty Bunny books but I picked this one to recommend because it reminds me of my other daughter who WANTS EVERYTHING just like Betty. Any store in the world, she wants EVERYTHING—grocery store, CVS…doesn’t matter, she wants it all. I told her she better marry someone super rich…JUST KIDDING!!!! I told her she better have a fantastic and super lucrative and rewarding career so she can afford all that stuff!
She recently did have the experience of wanting AND GETTING it all. I told her to savor it because it may never happen again. All she wanted for Christmas was stuff from Justice for Girls (which if you’re not familiar is basically a tween heaven of glittery, sparkly clothes and all manner of accessories.) Well, she wound up getting a stack of gift cards from various aunts and grandmas that added up to a pretty tidy sum and nothing at that shop is all that pricey so you get a lot of crap for not so much cash. I kept trying to explain to her that gift cards are like cash so you don’t have to spend it all in one day but she was bound and determined to shop til she dropped so she wound up with bags and bags of One Direction socks and Bieber fever t-shirts and bedazzled i-pod covers and feather earrings and knee high leopard print converse style tennis shoes and combat boots and shortie pajamas with penguins on them AND shortie pajamas with snowmen on them AND shortie pajamas with hearts on them.
It was hard for me. I don’t like shopping. I don’t like frivolity. I don’t like waste. I don’t like glitter. But she was sooo happy and I dig her the most and they were HER gift cards…and like Betty Bunny she wanted everything…and for one afternoon, she got it!
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