I’ve got this little lady we like to call Bunni.
She earned that nickname while I was pregnant and she was kicking as hard as Thumper for my attention.
The name Bunni conjures up images of a sweet, fluffy little creature who you just want to cuddle, and for the most part, that’s exactly what she is. She is so loveable and squish-able, with the cutest baby face around. She is calm and funny and plays so well with others (or alone). She really is the epitome of a cute Bunni, 99% of the time.
And then there’s the remaining 1% of every day. When she isn’t a Disney inspired dream, with those famous little bluebirds twittering above her head. When she is irrational, angry, fearsome and LOUD. My God is she loud. Usually it’s just because she’s hungry. Or should I say HANGRY?!
But do you know what? I love it.
Having already been Mummy to Bear for 2.5 years before Bunni came along, I felt I had the role of parent down to a fine art. He was sensitive, soft and sweet (and still is) and I was extremely conscious of nurturing that lovely nature – we do not need another bullish man in this world. But when it comes to Bunni, I had to rethink my whole parenting style.
What works for one, doesn’t work for the other.
You see, while I do obviously want Bunni to grow up to be sweet too, I also want her to possess an inner strength that I never had (& still don’t) because there are many ways in which people can be cruel, especially to girls. I don’t want her to be treated like a second class citizen, or a possession. Or worse still, a punch bag.
I’ve known too many girls who have fallen victim to violence by strangers or partners who treated them more appallingly than I care to recall. I fear this most as the Mother of a girl.
I need Bunni to know that certain behaviours are not acceptable. FULL STOP. It is very black and white for me. I need her to understand this and truly believe it. There’s no wiggle room on this issue and it is one I will drill into her like a Sergeant Major.
Nobody puts Bunni in the corner!
Sorry for the cheesy Dirty Dancing reference, but who doesn’t love a bit of Swayze showing Baby’s Dad that she is a force to be reckoned with and should never be hidden? I want Bunni to feel the same. I want her to know that (while it kills me at times) she should never quieten her voice for anyone. Don’t ever change! Keep shouting about the injustice, baby Bunni, however trivial – although it’d be great if you didn’t shout at me, using the full force of your lungs, every time dinner is five minutes late to the table.
I will tell her to keep shouting at her brother when he’s smothering her with kisses and cuddles and she’s just not into it. It may hurt his feelings for a second but it will teach him a valuable life lesson that he must learn about no meaning no. It’ll teach her about how to say it and mean it. Although to be fair, she seems to have this one nailed on.
Now for the Hippie speak.
I truly hope that by showing our children what a healthy relationship is, The Bearded Manc and I will raise a boy and a girl who will settle for nothing less than being truly loved and respected by whoever they chose to spend their lives with. We laugh and cuddle a lot and I hope that in seeing that, both children will chose to spread love wherever they go because it’s not just relationships with partners that’s important. Friendships matter too. I want Bunni to realise she must never compete with other girls. There’s no room for any more mean girls, tearing shreds off each other. The world is hard enough without girls being enemies. I won’t allow it. Make friends, don’t gossip.
My Treacherous Lioness with the heart of an angel.
It is my job to raise a sweet little girl who is both kind and gentle with the ability to channel her inner Boudicca when she needs it. A girl who is a warrior, with the touch of a woodland sprite and the roar of a tiger.
From the looks of it, we’re on the right path.
Roar, Little Bunni.