Bye bye Baon-chan

Baon-chan, the pink elephant
Baon-chan, the pink elephant

Have you ever heard of a wonderful project called Softies for Mirabel?

The Mirabel Foundation is based in Melbourne, providing help to children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to their parents drug addiction. Once a year, they collect handmade softies for the children so they can have a friend to snuggle down with. Before they were donated, the softies will be displayed for a week in the window of Meet me at Mike’s store. You can click the link above to read more about this wonderful project.

I have told Sidra several times that I was going to make something for this project, which he replied with somewhat disapproval grunts because Mama would be making toy that is not for him.

The fabric is very soft pink velour with leftover fabrics from Sidra’s jacket lining for inner ears and foot pads. The PDF elephant pattern is from my favorite pattern store, Funky Friends Factory, I’ve used patterns from this store before for this dinosaur and platypuses.

I think the elephant looks like cotton candy with ears and trunks! When Sidra saw it, he exclaimed that the elephant is so kawaii. He called it Baon-chan, because that’s how an elephant sounds like. “Ba-oooon!”

“I want. I want. I want. I want.” He began nagging me to give Baon-chan to him. I reminded Sidra again that Baon-chan was not for him, but he could play with her until she left on Monday. Sidra didn’t look happy at all with my decision.

I explained that Baon-chan’s will go to a child who doesn’t have as many toys as him. This lead to a never-ending session of Q&A: Why the other child doesn’t have toys? Can’t her/his mama make them toys? What happened to her/his mama and papa? Does she/he have DS Nintendo and Playstation like me? Why doesn’t she/he have them? Will she/he get more toys?


Baon-chan, the pink elephant Baon-shan

Bye bye Baon-chan
Bye bye Baon-chan

When he was told that the other child won’t probably get many toys, doesn’t play DS Nintendo and Playstation, doesn’t have their mama and papa around, and maybe even has one or both parents already gone, Sidra seemed perplexed by all the answers. I guess it is hard for a child in Sidra’s age to understand that the world is not as beautiful as it is for him now. He knows about unhappiness, but he can’t imagine that there are children with unhappiness beyond that he knows. That there are children who are very unhappy. And that one day, he will be unhappy too.

Sidra loves Baon-chan
Sidra loves Baon-chan

I know he still wanted Baon-chan, he was holding her the whole day. But he also knew that Baon-chan was for that other child, so he stopped nagging me about giving Baon-chan to him. Looking at him holding Baon-chan like that, it might be easier to just give the elephant to him and make another for the project.

But he can always get other toys (and more) later, and I hope he will understand this. I let Sidra said goodbye to Baon-chan this morning before he went to school. When he come back later, Baon-chan would be gone.

Bye bye Baon-chan, hope you will bring a little sunshine somewhere.

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  • Dear Novita,

    Sering banget mampir ke sini, left a comment or two, and maybe I haven’t told you this… but I fell in love with this blog a long time ago and forgot that I used to follow it. Today I went blogwalking again and found this post. Call me cengeng, hormonal or whatever, but this post made me cry -smiling, that is :’)

    You inspire me. Your family too, mainly Sidra.

    Makasih ya udah bikin saya berniat bulat serius belajar jahit. You remind me so much of my mom. I guess I understand how Sidra feel because my mom made me toys and 99% of my clothes when I was little. Your self-made dresses made me want to learn to sew, but this particular post pushed me more.

    Again, thank you so much for a wonderful blog 🙂

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you, Miund. Glad to know that these little things I made can bring a smile to someone 🙂
      Sewing is fun! Not to mention the ooh and aah from friends and families when they know that you made your own clothes. My tip: don’t ever start making clothes for other people for free 😛

  • Oh Baon-chan is adorable!!! and this sounds like a great project..something to keep in mind for next year.. I’d love to be a part of it 🙂

  • Michelle

    I love your blog. You live a beautiful life!
    I love your animals. Where can I find patterns like the ones you have made?


  • I love your blog so much 🙂
    And this post made me smile! What a sweetie pie (the both of you!)
    I hope when I get married and have children they are as sweet and good as Sidra!
    Also just on a side note…what is the meaning of Sidra?
    Sidra is a girls name in Pakistan and it means “A place in Heaven.”

    just curious 🙂 Sidra works beautifully for a boys name too!

  • Agostina

    this is the sweetest post ever.
    and baon-chan is so pretty. in french they say “mignon”, but i can’t find the word in english to describe it now. it’s like “cute, adorable, loveable”, altogether. i’d totally hug her.

  • Ivanchika

    You are really beautiful person- inside and outside!
    Baon-Chan is too cute; it will definitely make some lovely child very happy!
    I am sending this virtual <3 for this project (unfortunately, I can't sew)!!!!

  • wonderful and yet so sad! but so wonderful! and Sidra will be ok as soon as you make the next toy for him:)…

  • Marilyn

    What a wonderful gift ~to Sidra and the child receiving Baon Chan!! You are amazing!!
    I would like to do this too!!

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you, Marilyn!

  • Baon-chan is so cutr, and I think this was a lovely, gentle way of showing Sidra that kids can’t always have everything they want. And I’m sure thechild that gets it will be happy to know that Baon-chan was very loved before it came to him/her.

    • verypurpleperson

      Thank you, Joyce!
      I hope it will make a nice little present for the child who receive it 🙂

  • This is a great project and I think it’s meaningful for Sidra to experience this even though he doesn’t get whole purpose.
    I feel kinda guilty that I always say I am too busy to do something.. It is a precious hour or two to stitch and make a heart-warming toy for those children who deserve it!
    I’m in!!

    • verypurpleperson

      Yay Kayo! I’m so happy to hear that!

  • owww… what a cute baon-chan… I’m sure she can erase the unhappiness in a girl’s/boy’s life…

    you really have magic hands 🙂

  • anakku bilang, tantenya bikinin satu lagi aja buat anaknya mah.. 🙂

  • beautiful elephant and thank you for all those links!

  • sil

    Maybe Sidra will feel better knowing he gave Baon-chan some “love for the road” so to speak. He loved the pretty elephant and that love will carry to the next child.

    • verypurpleperson

      I love the idea of ‘love for the road’! I told Sidra that Baon-chan will bring his love to the other child, he looked a bit happy to hear that 🙂

  • it is super cute!! I love it!
    And I know…how we are so blessed that we are able to give toys to your kids, but sometimes, they must know that they can’t have everything they want to… It’s a hard lesson to teach.

    • verypurpleperson

      Yes, it is hard and sometimes heart-breaking when we see their innocence slowly dissolve every time more knowledge is coming. But I guess there is no other way 🙂

  • I would have been so tempted to make another one for him to keep, but I think it is really so much better to send it off and not get one for yourself. Being a parent is so hard sometimes!

  • It’s the saem with my children. They have no concept that all children do not have two loving parents that they see all the time. It’s beautiful but sad at the same time, since we know that this time of the life must end at some point. We said goodbye to two mer-people that we sent off t Melbourne.

    • verypurpleperson

      It is hard for them to understand it, and it’s also hard for parents to show the cruelty of the world…
      Glad to know that Baon-chan will be meeting your mer-people in Melbourne!

  • What a blessing this will be to a child in need. Very cute and looks so soft and cuddly.

  • Your softies are so cute, good for you for participating in this project.

  • Jo

    This is so lovely~ I’m sure Sidra understands, he is such a good boy!!:)

    I would love to participate next year!! Thanks for letting me know about this wonderful project!

    • verypurpleperson

      You’re welcome Jo! I’m excited to know that you want to participate too 🙂