Sunday, July 10, 2011

The story of Cocoa

When Clem was around two, he developed a strong attachment to a crocheted bunny called Cocoa.
what's not to love?
Cocoa was essential for sleeping and came with us everywhere. So beloved was this bunny that I became anxious about the consequences if Cocoa should ever be lost.

Okay then, I thought, I'm a clever mother. I'll buy another one as a spare.
I contacted the Etsy seller who made the original Cocoa and she whipped up another.

I hadn't originally intended on showing Clem the second bunny but somehow it happened. They wouldn't both get lost at once, right?

At first he was thrilled to have two Cocoas.
he called them Mummy Cocoa and Baby Cocoa
Twice the joy, right?


Before I knew it, the Cocoas had been abandoned.
when I looked for the Cocoas today, they were at the bottom of this pile

With the best of intentions, I was trying to shelter my child from the reality that beloved things sometimes get lost (broken/wear out/die).

What I actually did was devalue the currency of the original Cocoa.

And teach my child that precious things are replaceable.

I kind of felt it at the time, but reading this book has really crystallised it for me. I mentioned it in my decluttering post. It's been better than I ever expected.

Between this and my decluttering book, I've become determined to strip back the toys and possessions and options available to my children.

Ever since the first deluge of awful cheap plastic toys with our first child, I've been aware that our kids have become surrounded by so many toys that they are overwhelmed and barely play with any at all.

The book above goes further to say that this applies to many areas of life: our kids have so much choice surrounding them: books, toys, clothes, food... they are overloaded and will tend to default to the easiest or 'loudest' choice available.

Rather than confront the heaping mass of toys, they switch on the TV.

Rather than enjoy a simple potato, they are drawn to bright sweets and crazy, overflavoured snacks because they demand attention from the crowd of options.

Some children are able to filter the options better than others. I can see that in my own boys. Jasper, shall we say, could use a large amount of pre-filtering to shut out the 'noise' that distracts him. Clem, right now, is whining at me "I want to go on the compuuuuuuuterrrrrr". He's three and a half. I don't want that.

This book has so many constructive ideas on how to remedy these situations, that will suit all sorts of families. There has not been one moment when I have wanted to shout "shut up you smug hippy!" and throw the book away, like I suspected I might.

I have work to do. There might not be much sewing for a little while. But it's good to have a plan.

Oh and Clem has another favourite bunny in his life. He's had her since he was a baby. The one. And only. Never to be replaced.

- Jane x


  1. Such a good reminder! Thanks. It's crazy how the toys start to pile up. I look around, and there are only a few things we've bought for Joe - it's the endless stream of gifts and hand-me-downs that's going to kill us (possibly literally, when we trip and fall on a lego or train in the middle of the night).

    Wow, he's gorgeous, Jane!

  2. I must get this book, and a box of trash bags! What a beautiful post!

  3. So true, Jane. And such great points. I suddenly feel the need to clean my house!

  4. Thanks everyone. I don't mean to go all self-righteous and impose my values on anyone. And I'm sure we'll never be the total no-TV family or anything. But I've found this book so useful - and realistic and constructive - in confronting many of my own parenting frustrations, I had to share.

  5. i've got this book on hold at the library and i'm looking forward to its arrival! i might also check out a crochet animal book while i'm at the library - cocoa has inspired me.

  6. By the way, my digging up Cocoa(s) seems to have put them back in rotation... Clem was most upset when I 'forgot' to bring Cocoa to childcare yesterday! He has quite a bunch of much-loved soft friends including a sock monkey lovingly co-made by his oldest brother :-)


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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