When I was still pregnant with Tarana, I was desperately hoping that it would be a girl and yet accepting that a boy was just as likely, I came up with a list of reasons to convince myself that a boy would actually be better. It went something like this:
- Ayaan wanted a baby brother. And given that their age difference of four and a half years would already be on the higher side, the two siblings being from the same gender would work better to ensure a close bond between them.
- I was probably better equipped to deal with boys. After all, I am a stern, disciplinarian kind of mom. Who knows if I could muster up the broader emotional range to parent a daughter.
- Two boys would mean that my crown of the queen bee of the household would remain uncontested.
It is still way too early to comment on the first two. While Ayaan clearly adores his baby sister and has so far not even mentioned his previous preference for a male sibling, we will have to wait and watch to see how the sibling relationship develops and sustains as the years go by. As to the question of whether I will be able to be a good mother to Tarana, I’ll be lucky if I could answer that question many decades later on my deathbed, if at all because questions about how good a parent you are/ were can be tricky, can’t they?
The third one however can be answered right away. Not only is Jai showing signs of being wrapped around Tarana's little finger as she grows (he refers to her as his princess, need I say more...), the undeniable fact that my throne has already been whisked away is evident from the following conversation:
Picture this. The baby has just woken up and is stretching and opening her eyes. Ayaan and I are leaning over her cot and talking to her. It goes something like this:
Mama: Hi Sweetie Pie
Ayaan (perfectly mimicking Mama’s tone): Hi Sweetie Pie
Mama: Hi Girlie Whirlie
Ayaan: Hi Girlie Whirlie
Mama: Hi Baby Doll
Ayaan: Hi Baby Doll
Mama: Hi Little Pet
Ayaan: Hi Little Pet
Mama: Hi Princess
Ayaan (without missing a beat): Hi Queen