Bunso is a Filipino word that pertains to the youngest child in the family.
There are connotations surrounding the youngest among siblings.
- It is assumed that the bunso is usually spoiled rotten, which I hope my baby (and my other kids) will not grow up to be.
- By being the baby, it’s assumed that they garner the most attention and affection, especially from the parents.
- By being “spoiled”, the youngest could get away with anything.
I sure felt that way with my youngest brother. I even have proof. No, I’m not going to post here the photo of my mother carrying my baby brother on her lap while seated on a bed, with six- or seven-year-old me beside her, giving her a side-eye. I am not sure if it’s because he’s the youngest or it’s our age difference that got us into a very violent fight one time. So far, this hasn’t happened yet with my kids. Thank God. Hopefully, they won’t.
Why mommy seems to love the bunso more
Understanding the bunso starts with the pregnancy, even with the discovery. “Another baby?” They would say. “Was it an accident?” They would ask. People would assume that the third or the fifth baby was not in the plans. Since the plan (whatever that plan was) didn’t seem to involve another baby, not much attention will be paid to this pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with my third baby, there was no celebration. No fireworks.
Just kidding! I did not have fireworks with my first or second. Let’s just say it was a quiet pregnancy. And when I gave birth, there were fewer visitors, less food brought or cooked for me. It was fine! Really!
Maybe that’s why moms seem to care more for the bunso, to be more protective of her since her existence is not that extolled. People seem more excited with the first one.
Why mommy seems to baby the baby
The bunso is the last child. The last baby. It is the last time the baby reaches her firsts. The moment she says her first word is the last time mommy will record that milestone.
“Don’t grow up too fast!” Mothers tell their children. This sentiment is especially true for the youngest.
My bunso is now in nursery. Each day, I want to stop the time and preserve her baby-like features. Her rotund cheeks. Her small frame. Her fine and soft hair. Her tiny hands. Her small feet. Her cute laughter.
When the children quarrel, they would be questioning…
Why mommy seems to side with the bunso
I try not to. I think siding with any one of the kids is one root of sibling rivalry. I tell my eldest that shobe* is very young and doesn’t quite understand things yet. But, I do my best to explain to the littlest one what she did wrong and what she needs to do next time.
But, there are times when I feel tempted to support the bunso, though. It’s whenever the older kids won’t play with her or include her. These are the times that she needs the extra attention. I do agree that sometimes, to the eldest, younger siblings could be annoying. And sometimes, I do take pity on my baby.
Therefore, she would take comfort in mommy. Thus, making it look like mommy loves the bunso more, babies the baby more, and sides with the youngest often.
What do you think about the bunso?
*shobe – a Chinese Hokkien word for little sister