Happy Birthday!

Varun turns 1 today! This time last year, he was just a few hours old. Vyas, though prepared, had not settled down to the change even by the end of the day. Confused, angry, anxious, yet happy. It has been an exciting roller-coaster ride for everyone at the V house the last twelve months with many lessons on patience, expectation management, conflict management and what not. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that sometimes, at home or work, it is ok to swallow your pride or ego and go with the tide, and at times, it is equally, perfectly OK to get angry and get it out of my system, purge myself, even if it means an Armageddon!

Varun has learnt that it is OK to throw tantrums, cry and demand what is rightfully his anna’s! Vyas has learnt that there are cheekier ways to get his jobs done, and smarter ways to counter amma! So when he finds me yelling at him for not finishing his dinner or anything trivial, he calmly retorts with, “Amma, its time you get your thyroid checked”! This morning, he kissed me goodbye and came up with , “Bye, B P Amma” and dashed to the stairs before leaving to school. The ‘bestest’ change however is that he has ‘grown up’ and understands his amma better than anyone!

Varun has defined our schedules and time-tables. All our priorities are re-aligned to adjust to the little one’s needs. He decides a holiday (only a short one) for thatha and paatti, limits eat-outs for amma, appa, and anna, plays hide-and-seek only when he is in a mood, walks only where he likes, licks every other thing that is forbidden, sleeps only when he badly wants to, refuses to sit on a potty… I can go on! The philosopher in me says, “this too shall pass”, but the woman in me wants many of these moments to freeze. It was just yesterday that I saw Vyas take two baby steps forward, and he has time-traveled nearly 8 years, and is galloping his way into the tweens already? Tomorrow, Varun will be here, and another 8 years would have passed.

Though I dream several dreams for my two little sons, there is only one wish, or prayer if you can call it that: That both my darling sons must be healthy in mind and body. Nothing less. While every day is special, its an extra-special day today. I wish all nice things come your way Varun. You have added more color to our lives!!

When we were expecting Vibha,

Varun came. As is usual with any household that wants the second child to be of the opposite sex.

In a family where Vyas’s aunts and uncles all had a boy and a girl each, it was kind of assumed that we’ll follow the pattern! Everyone around us ‘saw’ signs of Vibha coming, what with so many old wives tales to support their theories. But nay! The little one marked his arrival by proving every single person in the house wrong and had already taken sides with his Anna who wanted only a brother!

Our immediate concern though was not whether it’d be Vibha or Varun, but to get Vyas used to the idea that he’d have to share his amma, appa, paatti, and thatha with another tiny being. In a society where you commonly find people generously advising the elder child not to go anywhere near amma, to sleep away from her, and tease the child saying that they will take away the baby when it comes, or predict that the sibling will be a boy when he wishes for a girl, or that it will be a girl when he wishes for a boy, etc, my husband, parents-in-law, and I made conscious efforts to let him know that all will be fine.

Vyas and I had a one-to-one talk and here are a few things I discussed with him so that he does not have any bad surprises.

1. That I’d have to be in the hospital for 2 or 3 days and the stay may extend by a couple of days if needed.. that is, if any medical intervention was needed for the baby or me… it might be something simple like a vaccine, or a routine observation.

2. He’ll be able to visit me only for an hour or two as long as am in the hospital. And that either dad, grandma, or grandpa will be with him all the time.

3. He must not believe or get provoked when anyone annoys him by saying that they will take the baby away. They are just trying to tease him.

4. He will continue to sleep on the same bed and that he will not be displaced. Just that the baby will also share it now..

5. He must not feel bad about any color differences cited by anyone, be it a family member or any acquaintance. Does not matter if the baby shares the same skin color, or is a shade fairer or darker. (Undue importance is attached to the ‘color’ factor in our society! And this must be the last thing to haunt a 6.5 yr old.)

6. I might feel stressed and therefore experience bouts of bad temper and he should not mind, but forgive me.

7. He might have a lot of questions to ask once the baby arrives which he must ask me and not generally discuss with random people.

8. Not to pay much attention when anyone tells him that a competition has arrived. What is to arrive will be a great companion for life.

Among few other things….

Am happy to say he’z held the fort well and is still putting up with his mom’s mood swings. And what’s more, our little Varun has been an adorable darling and his eyes follow the brother like that cute puppy in the old Hutch ad and he glues on to the mom when back from work, licking all over the face, tugging at the hair and refusing to let go…. And that is all this mommy seeks…

Brother’s prayers

“Ma, how did the baby enter your tummy?” asks the 7 yr old son. “Oh that?!! err..! That is the safe place to be in till the baby is fit enough to be ‘born’ into the world”, says me. “So, how are babies made?” the little one again. Me -“Hey, did’nt you wish for a baby sis/bro to play with? God heard your prayers and is blessing us with one”. “Ok then it must be a boy” says he. “Why so?”. “Girls always play with Barbie dolls. We’ll have more cars and bikes if its a boy”.

My son was doubly thrilled when it was a baby brother. Because God heard his prayers and blessed him with a brother and he gets to share the toys:-) Boys! And their ways!

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