When they became brothers, my sons were brothers in name and blood. To the babe, the little baby who waved, kicked, cried, ate, slept, needed several diaper changes and a huge dose of parental offection was a new, fascinating and slighty weird entity. He would switch between being proud and loving to being distant and unconcerned.
The baby of course would look bright eyed at this smaller sized, loud voiced, energetic individual who would pounce around the house, play with really interesting looking objects, get to touch tiny toys which would be quickly swept away from his own reach. He would switch from watching every move of the babe to pushing him away and bawling when the noise and action became too much for him.
The boys really wouldnt play together. My friends who had older daughters reported that the daughters would get really into playing baby but that was not for my son. He noticed this new baby following him around, learning to call him dada, and was friendly enough but didnt really seem interested.
But of late there has been a change in both of them. The baby is a fiercely independent toddler. He carries himself with pride, walking around as if he knew how to all along. He speaks with confidence. Some words we understand, some we dont, but he knows thats just how it is supposed to be.
When his older brother’s come over, he is ready to join. He can play with trains. He can learn that train tracks are not to be uprooted (an action that would result in yells from the other boys, and he himself getting uprooted from the room). He has realized that learning not to put anything in his mouth is a ticket to getting to play with them. He also walks up to the babe and hands him things, laughs at his jokes, joins him in many games.
For the Babe, with the wisdom of four years, this has proved to be a great advantage. He always has someone who makes a bigger mess, screams louder, spills things more, cries to do forbidden things and make him look angelic in comparison. Plus, it is now actually fun to have someone to play with who can stand on two feet and do the things that are essential for play.
And for me this journey from becoming brothers by birth to actually being brothers is fascinating, and finally broke my writing rut.
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Last 5 posts by Khushi
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