It used to be Goodnight Moon. I love that story. It’s got a sense of rhythm, and a satisfying conclusion. I can rattle it off now without even having to think, slow down to match Cameron’s breathing, extend shhhhhhing sounds.
Just one little problem.
“Nonono Mommy! Little Bunny! Little Bunny first!”
Except it’s not ‘first’, it’s really “never ever ever tell me Goodnight Moon again, just Little Bunny over and over again!”
Little Bunny, Cameron’s new favourite, is his name for The Runaway Bunny, another timeless classic. It’s not that I can’t recite it off by heart, it just takes a little bit of thought to remember which runaway destination comes next. It’s got nice rhythm too, and I can slow it down to match his breathing, all those good things that make a successful bedtime story.
It’s the message that makes me groan a little to myself when Cameron requests the story for the nth time.
In case you’re not familiar with it, there’s a Little Bunny. Betcha you figured that one out already. Another non-surprise, he wants to run away from home. When Mommy Bunny says she’ll come and find him if he runs away, he starts making up things he’d do to run away – become a fish, a bird, a rock. Mommy Bunny counters, saying she’ll become a fisherman, a tree, a mountain climber. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but let’s just say it’s a happy ending for Mommy Bunny.
On the one hand, it encourages ingenuity and free thinking. Little Bunny doesn’t limit himself to “I’ll run to the forest, I’ll run to Aunt Marge’s.” It shows how much Mommy Bunny loves Little Bunny as she’ll go to the ends of the earth to be with him.
On a more sinister note though, the message is “You can run but you cannot hide from Terminator Mommy!” Seriously. This almost crosses the line of reasonability here. Mommy Bunny starts off by saying she’ll follow Little Bunny because he is her little bunny. Not because she loves him, oh no. And how about “Anything you can do I can do better?” Does she even once express concern for her child’s emotional well-being? No. It’s “I will hunt you down and drag you back.” And let’s not forget the line where she says, “I will turn into the wind and blow you where I want you to go.” So, I ask you, what happens when Little Bunny grows up and becomes a salesman while his mother wants him to be a doctor?
Hmmm. Maybe I just miss Goodnight Moon but should suck it up because it’s my little love’s wish to hear Little Bunny one last time while he drifts off to dream, his world’s definitions reassured. Mommy can solve any problem. Mommy will always be there no matter what. Mommy will love me and want to be with me no matter who I am.