There's no doubt about it - kids can be into some pretty crazy stuff.
One woman is concerned her five-year-old daughter's love of rabbits may end in her being teased at school - after she receiving a gift from her "well meaning, but eccentric grandparents". Namely, a taxidermy rabbit.
Detailing her worries in a letter to The Slate's advice column, the mum said her daughter loves rabbits and desperately wants a pet rabbit, but can't in their apartment building.
"So this Christmas, my in-laws gave Maya a stuffed rabbit," she explained. "I don't mean 'stuffed' rabbit as in a plush toy. I mean "stuffed" as in THE TAXIDERMISED CORPSE OF AN ACTUAL DEAD RABBIT."
"Maya adores it," she says. "She talks to it, sings to it, reads to it, sleeps with it, and carries it with her everywhere."
Understandably, the mum isn't too keen on snuggling up with a dead animal.
"I don't want to stare into the glassy eyes of a rabbit corpse while I'm eating my dinner," she admitted. "I don't want a dead rabbit snuggled on the bed with us while I read my daughter a bedtime story. But I know that Maya would be heartbroken and confused if I took it away from her."
Saying her daughter thinks it's just a toy, she's tried switching the rabbit out for plush versions, but she always wants the taxidermy one back.
However, the mum's real concern is when she goes back to school. Explaining that she was learning remotely last year, she may go back to school this year.
"Right now, the stuffed rabbit is by her side the entire time she's in Zoom class, and I know that if she starts in-person school, she will want to take it to school with her," she said desperately. "Her school is K–8, so if she gets labelled as 'the weirdo with the taxidermy rabbit' now, that could follow her all the way until she's in high school."
Explaining that she wants to wean her daughter off the rabbit, she asked Michelle Herman, the column's author for advice.
Herman assured her that she has her sympathy, saying she wouldn't want to snuggle up to a dead rabbit every day either. However, she doesn't think it will be a problem when she starts school.
"For one thing, she's unlikely to be allowed to bring it with her to school except on special occasions," she pointed out. "But even on "stuffed animal day," the other 5-year-olds won't know the difference between taxidermy-stuffed and toy-stuffed any more than Maya does."
"This is a problem that is entirely about your discomfort, not hers (not even future hers). And let me repeat that I feel for you. But she will move on to something else of her own accord," she assured her.
"If I were you, I'd try to get used to this passing fancy, just because it's way easier for an adult (even a seriously grossed-out one) to do that than it is for a child—especially a child right now, when everything is so weird—to adjust to giving up a particularly beloved toy."