Oh, brother! Sister concerns
So, call me masochistic but I am ready for a third baby. Bio-rhythmically, that is. In every other way, this is complete insanity. I don’t have enough money right now to make my family a single-income one, I don’t have manpower to look after kids in case I do have a baby and go back to work, and I definitely don’t have the kindness to have another year of sleeplessness or to breastfeed every two hours. But I am totally ready to be pregnant.
Apart from the process of getting there being rather fun, being pregnant is one of the best things I’ve done. I’ve looked great, felt great, and apart from being utterly and totally humiliated during my C-sections by “brothers” seeing every bit of me waist below, the end results were fantastic.
Maybe I’ll have a third child a few years from now. Maybe I’ll have one biologically or maybe I’ll adopt. Or maybe I just know too many people now who are pregnant. All this broodiness got me thinking about many things. You know, it really saddens me to see how many of my friends want just one baby.
Before I launch into a full-fledged lecture, let me give you a little background. I was never crazy about babies. I see 25 years olds, even 30 years olds go gaga over little babies and I keep thinking I must have been odd because I really didn’t do that to every little kid that went by. I looked at cute kids, and said they were cute and I moved on. I even had uncharitable thoughts that some ‘chubby’ babies looked like pigs and once, even as I held a really tiny baby, remember thinking, how easy it would be to snap such delicate bones. What? I didn’t do it! I just thought it.
I love kids a little more now but am still not crazy about them as some women I know are. Don’t get me wrong. I think they’re fantastic. And watching my kids grow and learn and notice every little thing in this world around them has me in awe. I adore their smiles in general, and my kids’ in particular, but I am still not nuts about them. I prefer having conversation with them to coochie cooing with them. I prefer letting them be than to overly make them.
And for someone like that to want baby number three is surprising, even to me. So when I say it saddens me that more and more people are opting for one-child families, I honestly don’t know where it’s coming from. But I do know that the sadness is genuine. Some time ago, when I was in India and thinking about this, I saw with distress that The Hindu had done a piece on it just as I was about to write a post. But having read it, I realised it was just a defensive piece rather than one with any reasoning behind it. (Not that mine is going to have scientific fact or any such evolved things.)
So I decided to do this post anyway. I honestly believe kids with sibling are better kids. Call me a generalising so and so – all though that is not what I am doing -- but that has been my experience. I find kids with siblings are more open to things in general, less eager to please, are more likely to grow up not having a rather large sense of entitlement and overall have a more healthy understanding of love.
I know some fantastic people who were single kids. But we’ve never been friends for long. Something about them, even before I know they don’t have siblings, rubs me up the wrong way. Maybe it’s that they forgot to be children after a point because they hung out a lot with their parents. Maybe it’s just that the parents annoy me with their, “We want to concentrate all our love on our first and only baby.” Maybe it is the fact that invariably I find a little awkwardness, a certain defensiveness, when I speak to a person who grew up a single child. Maybe it’s all in my head. But this is also my blog.
Of course, the above could be said of people with siblings too and we all know having a sibling can do nothing to reduce the irritant quotient of some people but the intrinsic difference is that you may be able to tell a kid with a sibling that he’s a snotty little piece of nothing and get only a punch in return. But telling a single kid that might make you responsible for him turning out to be a psychopath.
But jokes apart, and people who grew up single, excuse me, I love you all equally but you guys just don’t cut like we sister-brother types do – look around you and tell me. The happier, more well-adjusted, less fake ones are almost always those with a sister or a brother they can absolutely not stand but love.
My advice? The population can take a walk*. Go make babies.
*One of the first things I worried about when I knew I was surprise-pregnant with my second kid was the population. “Crap! I am damaging my country by having more kids than it can sustain. I am moving to Australia.”