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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