Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Big Brother is Born

So Ayaan came back with my mom last Sunday night. I had hoped not to be feeding the baby when he arrived but such plans are made to be overturned. I heard the doorbell ring and then an excited, high-pitched screech saying ‘Where’s the baby???!!!!’ Then he came running into my bedroom and bounced on to the bed to get a good look at his baby sister. For some time, he bounced around the room noticing all the new things – the box with all the diapering supplies, the night lamp, the baby cot, the tube of Lansinoh, the big bottle of sanitiser on my bedside table… with questions pouring out nineteen to a dozen. Then he slowed down and came back for another peek at the baby, patted her arm and gave her a gentle kiss... And that was the first meeting...

Since then he has been more or less adorable around the baby. He keeps instructing me and my mom to be gentle with the baby when we are doing what he perceives as dangerous things such as putting nappy pins. He is full of curiosity about what the baby is doing, why she is doing it and when she will do this, that and the other. The big obsession is with when we can give the baby chocolate :)

He has taken personal responsibility for supervising his Patti while she gives the baby her daily massage and bath. He makes Patti read his bath book to him and the baby and then later insists on being allowed to brush and comb the baby’s hair.

Doesn’t he look gigantic next to her? His hands are almost as big as her whole head. Friends had warned me about this, but nothing prepares you for how huge your first-born seems compared to the new baby. Even when I am doing something trivial like washing his hands, I am shocked by how large they are! It's hard to believe that he was her size just four and a half years ago...

He doesn’t think much of the name we have chosen for the baby and has christened the baby ‘Girlie’. If he catches us calling her Tarana, he makes it a point to correct us and once even sternly explained that the baby cannot have more than one name.

Another sweet thing is the obvious pride and desire to show off the baby. Visitors to the house are immediately directed to the room where the baby is and asked to 'come and see our baby'. He has also been pestering me to invite some of his friends over so that he can show them his baby sister.

But if you look below the surface, there are early signs of things to come. To start with, he has been putting his stamp on everything that belongs to the baby. My mom got some rattles for her and he has appropriated them (along with some of his old baby toys that I had dug out) and dispenses them for the baby to play with as he sees fit. The smarty-pants noticed the age label on the packaging of one of her toys (it said 6M+), so guess who gets to play with that toy till then. He makes a point of taking her massage mat and spreading it on the floor for his own personal use now and then. Some of the results of this possessiveness have not been pretty. Like the other day, he sneaked off with my tube of Lansinoh and liberally applied the majority of its contents on his Doodle Pro, whilst also managing to smear his bed sheets, pillow and pyjamas.

At some level, I think he is not entirely happy about the baby being in our room so more often than not, he demands to come and sleep with us. At this point, I don’t want to say no to him as it might only make it worse but it is not optimal – he is not sleeping as well and I need to take the baby to his room for her diaper changes and feeds when she wakes.

He has also been more than his usual bratty, rebellious and destructive self but I am not sure whether to attribute that to the baby's arrival or the week of grandmotherly spoiling he enjoyed in Jaipur.

So anyway, so far so good. My mom says the sibling relationship is largely smooth sailing in the first few months. It when the baby can move around and get into her big brother’s stuff that things will start to get interesting…


  1. What a precious pic! Enjoy her smallness while it lasts:) And the mixed bag of sibling interactions too! I'm still learning new techniques to sort out his, hers and their shared possessions...WHEW!!!

    Lansinoh...such a long time since I remember that (ouch!) phase!!!

  2. Anonymous2:13 pm

    Beautiful baby! Thanks for sharing!

    Best from Korea~

  3. its hard for me to believe a baby can be this small...even if its only been eight months or so for me!!

  4. Art's posts and your posts take me back to my blur days :)

  5. Awwww...this is so sweet :)

  6. the big and the small are sweet :-)

  7. Ayaan is too cute !

  8. were unnecessarily worried? He is slipping quite well into his big bro role. Minor hiccups here and there will get smoothened along the way. His number one fan for life has just come into this world! :)

  9. Congratulations! They both look so cute together!

  10. Lovely, Ro. She looks beautiful and her name is just as beautiful as she is.

  11. Congratulations!!! Looking at tarana I suddenly realized how big my lil P has become too! :) very sweet pic.. adding an extra single bed in your room might help? No?

  12. I never got to enjoy any young arrival in my house for I was the youngest, that too by a good 10 years!!

    But it all depends on the kind of relationship these two will share later on. Many would prefer to let their young ones chart their own relationship chart, which of course will have its highs and lows

  13. They look so adorable to together!

  14. It sounds like he is doing a wonderful job of keeping up with the big change in his life.

    I completely know what you mean by being shocked about his size in comparison to hers. That was a big huge, teary shock for us too and I think my hormones pplayed it up a lot more, but it really took us some time to get used to the visible difference and that odd ache inside.

  15. such a sweet pic..

  16. I love his pride in his baby sister!
    Of course, fun times lie ahead:)

  17. What a lovely snap! He's behaving beautifully...those few minor incidents are bound to happen, don't you worry about them.

    You just wait and watch as the sibling love begins to grow! It's the most beautiful thing in the world!

    God bless your children :)

  18. Ah those days! Very typical his behavior is, although he's more loving and demonstrative than Poppin was at that time. I suppose him being older than she was helps.

    And despite all the negativity we had initially the two of them are inseparable now - Poppin cries for Sweetpea when she wakes up at night - groggily saying that she wants to play with her.. :)

    So good times are coming, and very soon. There might be a low period when Tarana becomes mobile, but once they realize that mobility=companion to play with, it becomes wonderful again.

    Meanwhile the thing to do is not to analyse/pass judgement (even mentally) or be on tenterhooks on the quality of the sibling love.. If left alone, it flowers and becomes a thing of beauty, so much so you'll be in awe!

    Beautiful pic and that surreal moment when you realize your original "baby" is SO BIG - priceless :)

  19. artnavy11:11 am

    so precious- i do think this age gap our kids have is ideal...what say?

    About showing off the baby- anush says" come see 'my' baby"!!

  20. Anonymous12:54 pm

    I have been wanting to leave you a comment since so long, but sometimes blogger or my wordpress id would act up! I hope this one goes through.
    Congratulations for Tarana. And so lovely to see Ayaan become this big brother now! rationing the toys for lil sister :)

  21. @poppy: totally. and yes, best not to analyse.

    @art: nodding my head!

  22. :)

    cute!! and like everyone says am sure things will get better soon enough!

    its sweet Ayaan's concern for l'il tarana! Girlie?! hehe!


  23. Ah, he turned out to be the protective big brother! I like the 'putting his stamp' bit :)
    And that's a beautiful pic..

  24. Anonymous5:10 am

    I agree with your mom. When the baby actually becomes a baby and not a blob is when things start turning sour. Although, the love is still there, one has to dig deep.

    And I am highly impressed you are blogging already. Woohoo!

    How are you finding the transition to 2 kids. Although it is a bit too early to ask..:)


  25. How cute is his pride to show off his baby sister! And he being little himself, I would say, indulge him until he gets bored of all the attention and maybe things will cool off?? I am sure everyone is advicing you left and right, so I will shut and gush at the baby, her name and the sibling relationship.

  26. heartiest congrats rohini....hv loads of happy moments ahead

  27. Anonymous9:36 pm

    OMG The picture is so precious, simply Beautiful.
    And he has welcomed the baby with open arms, what a loving boy. Of course he might demand a bit more attention from you now, but compared too all the attention he himself is showering on the baby, thats nothing right? :) God Bless the kids!

  28. CONGRATULATIONS Rohini! Im so excited for you!! two boys! You must be over the moon? God bless you and your family.

  29. sigh. I meant a boy and a girl!! in my over excitedness i fell over my face.

  30. Hi, I really liked you blog. In many ways you remind me of who I was when i was at your age. God Bless !

  31. Rohiniiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!! Congratulations to you. The baby is absolutely adorable. And Tarana is a beautiful name.
    Big congratulatory hug and lots of tongue-tied hand-pumping handshakes all around.

  32. Some of the best days ahead ... before its going to dip for sometime and then will be back to sunshine days.
    The picture is precious.

    And oh! on the 6M+ toys ... its not going anywhere ... the older ones will always want to play with the "New Toy" and the younger ones will always want the toys that older is playing with :)

  33. dont worry about it. i'm telling you, they're meant to be. he wont bother her because he will slowly learn that she is here to stay.

  34. congratulations on ur lil bundle of joy :-)

    ayaan seems to be good big bro :-)
    so nice to see ayaan is enjoying baby's company :-)

  35. Congratulations, Rohini! Tarana is as gorgeous as she sounds -- love her name. And Ayaan couldn't be more cute. Good luck and hugs!

  36. *beams fondly at her two bloggy babies*

  37. Hey!

    Can totally empathise with all that's happening at your end. Good to see that we (as in our family) are not the only ones going thru these situations. Your exps and ours actually run pretty parallel. As far as sleeping in our room, goes, that we have not allowed. We felt that both children would tend to disturb each other. As a compromise, one of us sleeps with L in her room as far as possible, esp for naps.

    As far as the temperament change goes, I try to ignore it as much as I can. Though that's not always possible. I DO lose it every now and then, which is when L becomes worse as well. But imp to be firm but non-angry (easier said than done). It DOES get better. And it all seems worth it when the 2 kiddos make such a cute pic:)

  38. And PS: Ditto on the size exp. I felt like my daughter looked like a giant child initially:) Now she's back to normal size. And as far as the infant went, we found it hard to believe that L was EVER this tiny, though the boy was actually taller and heavier than her at birth.

    PPS: Ur daughter looks adorable!

  39. I can't get over how chubby she is already! Perfect!

    I think your mom is right about the sibling thing. Also,I've found that it's easier to grant privileges than take them away. Trying to tell Ayaan that he can't sleep with you after he's been allowed to might be trickier than denying the privilege in the first place. However, I also have never had to deal with a situation exactly like yours--my firstborn was only sixteen months old when the next baby came, and although there have been all the typical issues with sharing toys that siblings have, it came more gradually as they BOTH grew older.

    So, uh, GOOD LUCK!! :-D It will be interesting to read the progress and results of your experiments. ('Cause we parents are actually behavioural scientists in the field, aren't we?)

  40. Beautiful and precious baby.'m telling you, they're meant to be. he wont bother her because he will slowly learn that she is here to stay.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Work from home India

  41. Rohini, I've not been over for a while - congratulations on baby Tarana's arrival. Thrilled for you....

  42. kitty decosta4:55 am

    Congratulations Rohini and welcome to baby Taraana. I hope that Ayaan keeps on looking out for her. In my experience its always the older sister who looks out for her brother, although in our case the older sister always tried keep her siblings in their place. Yes I agree Ayaans hands do look very big; it is so interestinging watching these events; what an absorbing lesson in transience. Love Kitty

  43. I am reading your blog after quite some time-so belated Congratulations and Best wishes!

    Very sweet pic of big brother with lil princess!

  44. Anonymous11:56 pm

    sorry missed your post! congrats on the new arrival in the family! Little Ro is very gorgeous and yes big bro is actually looking big next to her :)time for loads of sibling rivalry books, I guess ;)

  45. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments.

    [Starry] Right now, there is no 'hers'. Everything is appropriated by him, including the small pink and white teddy someone gifted her. He says he will let her have it when she is old enough to play with it but I am not holding my breath :)

    [Poppin] Thanks for that super reassuring comment. You know I am watching your space, don;t you :)

    [MM] With the crib already in our room, there is barely space to walk, let along space for another bed. But thankfully he has gone back to sleeping in his own room as of last week

    [Art] I think the big advantage of this age gap at this stage is that they are a lot more prepared and accepting. Let's see how it pans out as they grow...

    [Sraikh] Right now, I am missing my sleep :)

    {Mad Momma] So far, so good :)

    [Preeti] Hmmm... firm but non-angry - I need to work on that :(

    [Scrapqueen] LOL at the behavioural scientists bit. The sleeping experiment worked. After unrestricted access to our bed for a couple of week, the boy is back in his room :)

  46. *giggle* Glad it worked! :-D

  47. :) Thanks for sharing..

    Loved reading all the posts....
    And ur little darlin's are VERY cute :) God bless..