When I was young I used to have a pretty over active imagination. I was scared crap-less of the dark, especially when I was outside, and any movie I saw that was mildly scary would put me into fits of fear for weeks.
I remember when I once watched a kids movie called Dot and the Kangaroo. There was a Bunyip in the show. It was only in the show for the most fleeting of moments, a musical 2 minute segment. But that was enough. The Bunyip was after me. I was scared to go to the toilet for fear that the Bunyip was guaranteed to come up from underneath me. And at night I would find myself in Adam’s bunk curled up and quivering down the end for some extra protection.
There was something about that Bunyip. It just didn’t look right.
Anyway after a long and testing childhood that saw me falling apart after every scary movie and sprinting back to the house after every terrifying night expedition of putting the bin out, I managed to grow out of my fears.
But I think my poor Nikita has picked up my overactive imagination.
She regularly talks about monsters, hates the vacuum cleaner, comes running at every loud noise as if there is a T-Rex behind her and scrambles out of the bath in a panic if the plug is pulled while she is in there.
One of her more comical displays of fear was when she was at a shopping mall. Amanda had taken her there because Shrek was making an appearance. I’m not sure if Nikita was totally sure who Shrek was but she had seen the movie.
Nikita was mucking about with some other kids when Shrek came out from the curtains behind her. She turned around to see what all the commotion was about. Upon laying eyes on the giant green character, she proceeded to freak out and scramble up the legs of a random bystander, clinging onto them and forcing them into a comforting embrace.
On the day before Good Friday I picked Nikita up from day care.
We were making some idle chit chat in the car and I asked her if she was looking forward to the Easter Bunny coming.
‘Hey, what do you mean no? It’s the Easter Bunny, everyone loves the Easter Bunny.’
‘Don’t be silly Nik, the Easter Bunny is your friend.’
‘Noo! I don’t like the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny is NOT coming in my hooooouuuuuse!’
‘What’s wrong Nik? the Easter Bunny is really, really nice. He loves hopping around in the forest.’
‘Nooo…whimper…nooo, I don’t like the Easter Bunny. He is NOT COMING IN OUR HOUSE!!!’
‘It’s OK Nik. He isn’t coming inside the house. He just hops around the backyard and leaves chocolate eggs for you. What’s wrong honey? You love the Easter Bunny.’
‘I… DON’T…LOVE…THE…EEEHEEHEEEHEESTER BUNNY WAAAHAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAA!’
‘OK, OK, I get it. Geez, OK, you don’t like the Easter Bunny. Fine.’
I went inside the house and threw all of the bags down then headed back out to retrieve Nikita and Siena from their car seats.
As I stepped back out the front door I could hear Nikita moaning.
‘I don’t want the Easter Bunny waaahhahahahahaha…. I don’t want to go to the forest…whimper, whimper..I don’t want the Easter Bunny coming inside our house….whimper, wahahahaha.’
What I originally found to be quite a humorous and cute situation had turned into something quite concerning. Nikita was pretty spooked. She was 100% anti the Easter Bunny and she was overcome by the intensity of it all.
I took both girls inside and put them down but before I knew it Nikita was back, crying and whimpering while clinging onto my leg. I took her and gave her a big hug, consoling her. I told her that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were best friends and that if she liked Santa then she should like the Easter Bunny as well, otherwise he would be upset.
I put her in front of the TV.
Seconds later she began to cling on to my leg again trying to climb up into the protection of my arms. It proved extremely annoying while I was attempting to prepare dinner and eventually I snapped.
‘Enough! Nikita you are being very silly. Go over and sit on the couch and stop being stupid!’
She looked up at me in anguish with her despairing big brown eyes and I melted completely.
I picked her and Siena up and took them to Nikita’s room. I found the worlds cutest Easter book and pulled it from her shelf. It was a story about a little dog who goes around all her different friends houses asking if they had lost a basket of eggs. Eventually they end up at her rabbit friends house where they find out that her mum is the Easter Bunny.
‘Oh look at the cute doggy honey, isn’t he cute!’
‘I don’t like doggies.’
‘Oh look at this gorgeous goat honey isn’t she adorable?’
‘I don’t like goats.’
‘Ooooh, look at this sweet little cat, isn’t it so sweet?’
‘I don’t like cats.’
At this point I was grasping at straws.
‘It’s not a cat it’s a kitten. A cute, cuddly little kitten. I looooove kittens.’
‘I….I love kittens too.’
‘Yes me to.’
I turned the pages back.
‘Look at this beautiful puppy.’
‘I love puppies.’
‘And what about this wonderful little Bunny? Don’t you just love bunnies?’
‘Yes, I love bunnies daddy’ she said beaming up at me.
‘Well don’t you see honey? This is the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny is your friend and he is coming…only to the back yard, not inside the house…to hide lots of little chocolate eggs in the garden for you and Sisi to find.’
‘Ohhhhh and then he goes back to the forest?’
‘Yes Nik. Then he goes to all the other kids houses to hide their Easter eggs, then back to his own house in the forest.’
Nikita managed to recover from her Easter Bunny phobia and we had a relatively calm rest of the evening.
It wasn’t until a bit later that I stumbled upon what could possibly have caused all the commotion. I opened the pantry and looked up at the Easter basket Nikita and Siena had been given at daycare. They had a picture of the Easter Bunny on them.
Honestly is this thing meant to be cute? Or is it not one of the craziest, totally psychotic looking rabbits that you have seen?
Boggly eyes, boggly eyes….whimper, whimper….boggly eyes!
I hope I’m not going to be home by myself tonight.