Friday, September 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

I can't believe it's been nine years since we were first gifted the joy of parenthood! Yes.. It's my older one, Abhay's birthday today and ever since my dejavu experience with the birth of my little one recently, not a day goes by that I don't think of Abhay's "just born" moments. My little one being a miniature Abhay in every way, is a constant reminder  of how fleeting time is ... Nine years ago .. It was Abhay in her place who now finds himself  elevated to the position of big brother.. willy-nilly!:-) As they grow not only shed their baby fat but also their baby antics and innocence that no longer make them amenable to all the molly-coddling they had enjoyed so far. While Abhay receives a fair share of pampering from everyone at home....there are times when he feels envious when we gush over the little one's toothless grin or fuss over her baby-talk. Though he understands as much as a nine year old can, he has turned a little more sensitive, noticing every nuance of our demeanour towards him. It may be an innocent remark on his tardiness or a routine disciplinary measure... But the same now acquires a whole new dimension with the little one around. So what probably plays out in his mind is "Amma is all smiles at the baby but is always stern with me... Is this how it's going to be?" I must admit that my being away at my mom's for the last three and half months hasn't helped a bit on this front, with his weekend visits and telephone interactions turning into instruction sessions rather than free flowing conversation with Abhay (and his daddy!) Well... Parenting is  a continuous learning experience .... And I have a lot to learn in the balancing act of parenting two kids! So as my not-so-little one (anymore!) turns nine today... here's an assurance from everyone ... No matter will always be our hero! :-)

Though Abhay was no toddler before and was nearing nine, he was always our little one! But post the arrival of our second child, he suddenly seems so grown up and big! So much so... It seems as if he even may squirm at being called a kid very soon!:-) While today's Abhay's first birthday as a big brother, it is also his  first birthday without his mom at home as I am in my native town with my little one, while Abhay is with the daddy at Bangalore. So we had the daddy read "It's hard being a kid" by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos and illustrations by Marta Fabrega, though it would have been ideal if we could lay our hands on something like "It's hard being an older kid"..(May be Abhay can write it..:-)) This almost feel like a dairy jottings of a girl named Tatiana where she reflects on what it means to be a kid. Well, sometimes it's not easy being a kid... With there being so many things they are expected to do, even when they don't feel like it... Be it school, homework, clean up their rooms or brush their teeth! Tatiana feels that the kids have it tough as there are rules that follow them wherever they go... Be it at home or at school! No matter where they go... They are being watched.. at class or library or even the playground where the neighbours keep an eye on them lest they break anything! In Tatiana's opinion, the grown ups have it easy as they can do whatever they want ( if only that were true) like not eat at dinner table or being able to stay up late and are not exactly bound by rules ( Well..... Not the same rules!) and she can't wait to be a grown up! But as she ponders on, Tatiana realises that being a kid sure has its advantages... Like it's okay to be silly and how there's always a grown up to take care when something goes wrong. Finally she concludes that being a kid isn't that hard as she first thought....... And going to school and following a bunch of rules isn't that awful after all! While being little simplistic in its narrative, the illustrations are hilarious and the book has each page carry a question for the readers to think and mull over and ends with fun role-reversal  activities for kids and an advisory note to us parents attempting to impress upon the child's perspective. A great read to set the whining children into thinking about how carefree and uninhibited their lives are ... Something you probably realise after you are a grown-up!  Conveying the universal message in Tatiana's words "Instead of worrying about how hard it is to be a should just be kids and have fun"! So Abhay.... Just enjoy being a kid .... as it will be over before you know it.... Happy Birthday, my first born!! 

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