MY QUIET, GENTLE DAUGHTER

My daughter is turning out to be too quiet and gentle. I am not exactly sure what these means but with her being the middle child and the only girl, the two boys are bullying her easily. As a mother, my thoughts are running wild as per what to do. Do I use drugs to boost her energy, so she fights back any time her brothers take her feeding bottle? Are some girls always like this at the beginning and later come into their strong selves? Would she always be quiet and gentle and allow people walk over her? Is there something I am supposed to be doing to make her more boisterous, livelier, more energetic and almost equal if not equal with her brothers? I don’t know how many mothers feel like this with their female children but when you think they got their genes from the same parents, occupied the same womb at the same time, eat the same things and are exposed to the same environment yet she is turning out different from the other two. She is certainly the girly girl; quiet, reserved and almost always withdrawn compared to the boys. I am in awe about how nature programmes these things.

My husband and I went to a pharmacy to ask for what we could use to help increase her energy level, we were met with smiles and told to allow her be. They didn’t recommend anything except the usual multivitamins they had always taken. A friend told me of a local medicine that is available to make children sharper and more active. I am not too sure I want to go through the local route. Sometimes I believe I am worrying over nothing, other times I believe there is need to worry and try to shape her character and reaction to issues right from now, and a few times, I just want to let everything be and watch her change through her different developmental phases.

Raising triplets of both genders is a great lesson in discovering and comparing the beauty of nature. Even though my babies are fraternal triplets with three different personalities; in less than a year of life, everything is becoming the boys versus the girl. The two boys tend to have equal amount of energy and drive; they want to climb, crawl, walk and at 9 months are very adventurous while the girl is there wanting to be pampered, carried and cuddled. Now I understand better how patriarchy and chivalry started and why feminism has become so important. It is imperative to start going against the grain. The bottom line is that girls are weaker and men by nature are to protect and shield the woman therein lays the power and authority that men believe they have over women especially in Africa. Even from the early stage of life, this is already manifesting.

I will by the grace of God raise my daughter to see herself as equal to the boys not anything weaker. Whatever the boys can do, Zahra should be able to do same too and even do it better. If they climb tables, I will encourage her to climb too and educationally if she wants to do a “man’s course” such as engineering and the likes, my daughter will be greatly supported. When they are old enough to help in the kitchen, the boys will learn to cook, clean and bake too and the girl will also learn mundane things like changing the bulb, mowing, washing the car et al. There won’t be boy’s work and girls’ work in our household. Their exposure should be the same all the time. May God help us raise well rounded children. AMEN.

Keem