Storytime with Hop and Bun, the Imaginary Bunnies

Photo: Stuffed white rabbit sitting on a bookshelf. Text:

This is actually Snowball, our “pet bunny.” But good luck getting a photo of an imaginary friend.

“Tell me a Hop and Bun story,” Sprout says, his pants around his ankles as he’s sitting on the toilet. Perched on the side of the bathtub, I look off into the distance, as if I can pluck an idea from the mirror above the sink. “Hmmmm, well,” I stall, wracking my brain. “Once upon a time, there were two bunnies, named Hop and Bun. They were best friends. One day…”

Eventually, I always come up with something. The plots have ranged from the hapless bunnies getting lost on the subway to saving up money and buying a scooter.

While I love telling Sprout stories – despite the odd circumstances – that’s not my favorite part of this routine. No – it’s the fact that Hop and Bun are utterly from Sprout’s imagination. I played no part in their creation. They aren’t drawn from a book or TV show. One day, Sprout just declared that he was a bunny named Hop and Bun was his friend.

Continue reading

Songs to Grow Up With: Why I Don’t Like Puff the Magic Dragon

Why I Don't Like Puff the Magic Dragon. Childhood doesn't have to mean the death of imagination - and teaching that it does is actually harmful. (Picture: Cartoon of a green dragon)

Listening to Puff the Magic Dragon on the iTunes children’s radio station, I stopped and frowned. Then I started crying, snuffling, blinking sobs that I tried to hold back in front of Sprout. I once thought I liked this song, but my memory was different than the reality.

Unlike other children’s songs, my dislike of it isn’t because of an annoying melody or inane lyrics. That day, I realized that I hate Puff the Magic Dragon’s message.

Continue reading