An Open Letter to Flop

Dear Flop,

Despite the firm assurance of a Cambodian fortune teller that, as of March 2016, everything in my life was going to be easy, I’ve been having a really hard week. During times of struggle I ought to be more vigilant with the TV schedule, but today I absent-mindedly allowed my daughter to watch Bing (I left her in the cot – which is never used for sleep but as a kind of baby prison while I have a shower – next to the telly). While listening to Bing’s whining and your characteristically level-headed, in control, considered, informed and confident response, I felt myself spiralling into a familiar black hole of inadequacy.

Flop, what even are you? Are you his Dad or what? Does he call you Flop because of some progressive parenting choice you’ve made to deconstruct the normative model of the family? Are you a neighbour or some kind of paid help? I’m not trying to be narrow minded. I’m just trying to understand why you never seem to lose your shit, Flop. We never see you in the background putting your car keys in your bag really hard or muttering about how well you did in your fucking degree while mopping up yoghurt with a fistful of angrily scrunched baby wipes. Flop, do you ever have to count to ten?

How do you get the shopping out of the car? Do you leave Bing in his car seat, even if he’s crying, while you get the stuff out of the car and into the front door? Do you lock the car between each car-to-front-door journey? What the fuck do you do in the petrol station, Flop? What if the pay-at-pump is out of order? You just don’t seem to feel panicked, Flop. You seem like you’ve got it all in hand and I’m not even sure if you have hands.

Flop, have you ever mouthed “arsehole” behind Bing’s back – not so as he would have heard but maybe passers by would have noticed – because you walked straight past Clarks despite the fact your destination was Clarks and you felt Bing was somehow responsible? Have you ever spent eighteen pounds on a pair of Clarks wellies you didn’t even like, simply because you didn’t want to go home having not achieved the task of buying Bing some wellies? Flop, when was the last time you had to bite your car key to stop yourself crying at the till because you were exhausted and you only paid for 90 minutes parking and you had 3 minutes left but you were a 4 minute walk from the car and you were trying to enter your pin number with a struggling Bing gripped precariously under your left arm and your right hand self-consciously grazing the pram handle to check if your handbag was still there? Do you even have a handbag, Flop? Are you made from a sock?

Do you ever feel like you’ve inadvertently waterboarded Bing when all you wanted to do was wash his hair? What’s your stance on refined sugar? Do you ever think that maybe you make the same tired old joke about Bing only eating Pom Bears so no one realises you lose sleep over your failure to get him to consume anything other than breastmilk? Are you on Instagram? Does Bing like blueberry nicecream? Do you? Do you drench it in maple syrup and eat it anyway? What do you mean “no”?

Do you ever worry about rickets, Flop, despite the fact that Bing is unusually tall? Does rickets run in Bing’s family? My boyfriend has bendy legs but is that hereditary? Or was it cos he was born in a war? Do you think it’s wrong that he’s 30 tomorrow and we’re so far away? How will I make him a cake, Flop? People say we’re lucky we have Skype but have you ever been on Skype, Flop? Is it the same as a hug? Why can we print a kidney but the internet doesn’t work when it rains?

What’s the deal with Sula? If she tried to hit Bing would you hit her back? Do you think we should stay in the EU, Flop? Or should we become part of America instead? Did you go to Normandy in Year Seven, Flop? Remember the ferry and everyone putting the waists of their coats over their heads so they nearly blew away and it rained the whole fucking time you were there? What about Calais, Flop? It’s all very well being able to explain to Bing that when he has a sleepover he has to be prepared to mix bedtime routines but how do you explain to him that some people don’t have a bedtime routine because they don’t have a bed because they live i.n.a.f.u.c.k.i.n.g.t.e.n.t.?

Are you a single parent, Flop? You never seem to go to work but you live in a big house and we never see you checking your Lloyds app and going pale in the face and mouthing “oh SHIT”. You’ve got a massive orange fridge which can’t have come cheap, Flop. Flop, how do you cope with the crushing responsibility? Do you ever panic that Bing will be kidnapped while you’re in the shower, despite the fact you can see him and the front door is locked?

Flop, I bet you don’t have to write “brush Bing’s teeth” on your to do list in order to remember it. I bet you just do it. Every day. Twice. And I bet you really do it, rather than just let him chew the toothbrush while you do your eyeliner. You don’t even wear eyeliner, do you? Have you ever had to Google “what exactly is soft play” because you don’t actually know? Of course you haven’t. You invented soft play. You’ve never even got an apostrophe wrong, you perfect bastard.

Flop, do you well up because the music to Waybuloo is ambient?


Bonny, 28, Buckinghamshire


52 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Flop

  1. Leslie Rickerby says:

    This is the absolute best f*@+#€¥g open letter I have ever read. Ever. You know something is good when you wish you’d written it yourself! Amazed.
    Hope you get a reply from the smug git x


    • theyruinyourlife says:

      Woah Leslie thank you! I would be flattered if all open letters weren’t fucking shite. Love you x p.s. still waiting for a reply, not so fucking perfect now are you Flop?


  2. Ruth says:

    Flop is just showing us what we should be shows how children learn if we keep calm and explain to children how they should be behaving. Of course we are mere humans with our faults.we all get really annoyed sometimes.still an amazing programme that makes children and their carers think.x


  3. Mrs B says:

    GREAT letter, could not have put it better myself. Our son ADORES Bing so I have to watch about 5 episodes a day, minimum! I would love to save this until he is a teenager and read it back to him!!!
    Flop you get on my flopping flipping nerves!!!


    • Gill says:

      Oh no. We watched it in Welsh once in a completely exhausted accident and I found it far better. It was so much easier to ignore. You could still tell he was whining though, the absolute arsehole.


  4. Mandy says:

    I remember all those feelings and fears when my kids were growing up. Especially the cot…. I’ve never seen bing or flop … Why is he called flop if he is so perfect? An open letter that should be shown to the every one. Well done love x


  5. Hannah Fielder says:

    This letter has made my day! It basically encompasses most of the thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis while my daughter is contentedly watching Bing! Best open letter ever!


  6. Jenny says:

    I bloody love this. I hate flop.

    Have been forced to come to the conclusion he or she is constantly high or drunk to achieve that level of zen parenting.


  7. Bev Benson says:

    You’ve normalised all my heinous pent up dislike towards Bing!! He isn’t cute. He whines. Flop is a lovely, endlessly patient, weebley thing. He must get paid in diamonds and really good drugs!!


  8. claudiarachel says:

    I love this letter. I’m pretty sure he’s a nanny though because no-one is that calm with their own kids!

    I remember being really disturbed that the actor who plays Flop was Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Half- makes all that calmness so much sinister!


  9. Peter Western says:

    But Flop is really Mark [Oscar-winning] Rylance and he said doing Flop was really hard work, having to keep his mind absolutely’in the present’ whatever that means!
    Maybe life will get easier for you, Bonny of Buckinghamshire, when you’ve won an Oscar after you’ve fed and bathed your baby.
    I had to work with these little blighters for almost a year – it nearly killed me!


  10. Helen says:

    Genius. I had pretty much the same conversation with my sister regarding the family setup. So many questions.

    I personally think Flop is a secret drinker, how else does he put up with Bing’s incessant fucking whining?


  11. Zara Mcmillan says:

    What I don’t get is Bing is alot bigger than Flop. What if Bing gets really ill or breaks his leg or some other accident how the heck is Flop ment to carry him? Does he just leave him were he is? Does he phone a friend? Or does he have some sort of thing called helger the helper that carries Bing for him?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Laura says:

    Flop fails to even ask Bing to use soap to wash his hands, even though it is right there on the counter within reach. Drives me crazy. My boy shouts “But he’s not using the soap!’ every time. See? Flop isn’t perfect. Better now?


  13. Mark Southwell says:

    The funniest thing I’ve read in a good while. I do hope writing is your profession. If it isn’t then it should be. I have often said to my other half that one day Flop is just going to lose it. When he does I hope you write the script.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rebecca Tully says:

    dude. I’m 6 years in and had totally forgotten about the reaction to the waybulo music. It is entirely due to lack of sleep and and a total loss of identity. it’ll all come back. cheers, ace blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Its Adam Again says:

    This is amazing. I have always looked up to flop as a role model and always failed to meet his calm and collected approach to life. How does he do it? Thank you for reminding me that he is just a sock… Or does that make me feel worse? I don’t know. But I loved reading it! Thank you. 🙂


  16. imatwinmama says:

    This is one of those blog posts that makes me feel completely inadequate as a blogger! And Flop is definitely a character which makes me feel inadequate as a mother!

    Bloody brilliant 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. sisterk1n says:

    Bloody Flop. Patient, calm, annoying little rabbit-y thing!!! He is up there with Topsy and Tim’s mum, who always seems to be dressed. In clothes. All the time. So glad I stumbled across this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kieran Harrod says:

    I’d always assumed that Flop was one half of a tragic homosexual relationship. The couple used surrogacy to get Bing, but Flop wasn’t the father, his partner was. Rather than call his parents daddy and daddy, he called them daddy and Flop. Sadly Bing’s biological father died whilst Bing was still a baby. Flops patience is a compensation for the loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. b8nj says:

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever read. Well done. I’ve always wondered who Flop is and why he lives in a normal human sized house despite being a small toy rabbit.

    Theory: the adults were wiped out and the children are in a semi-coma where they imagine their toys coming alive to look after them.


    • Joe says:

      I agree with you regarding the nature of Flop. However, I don’t feel that your theory properly accounts for the fauna that appears within the show. Personally I believe the show is set in the aftermath of an ecological disaster and that Bing, and the others, represent the first generation of a new post-human species genetically engineered to survive and rebuild civilization.


      • Möller says:

        We considered this. Certainly that could fit if the ecological disaster is severe enough. But given that the artificial entities can produce Bing and his friends, a pigeon and a dog seems much much simpler as that is just reproducing something that existed and not creating a hybrid of two species like humans and bunnies in the case of Bing. The difference between a wholesale destruction of all life above the level of bacteria on Earth, and the creation of a new ecosystem on a new planet seems rather small…


  20. rdmdk says:

    These are some big questions. I hope he sits down to answer them one day, but I suspect he’s a flip-flopper…


  21. Jordan says:

    I don’t know who Flop or Bing but I get the picture he is a parental figure who seems to only Instagram the smiley photos and not the ones where the nappy has burst.
    Thanks Bonny, you’ve reminded me why I don’t have kids yet 😉


  22. Debbie G says:

    I’m glad Bing’s behaviour has been mentioned. Me and my older son just keep tabs on how much he gets away with with little consequence . Eg. Shoplifting.
    In another episode he intentionally throws Flop’s mobile phone in the bin. The usual response at the end to such matters is along the lines of “Shoplifting. It’s a Bing thing.” I personally don’t think Flop is all that


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