Thursday, September 17, 2009

The manifold advantages of a big brother

Last weekend both the kids had appointments for flu shots.

I was not worried about C (my nine-year-old son) at all. From the time he was three years old, I have been very upfront with him about the need for shots and how making a fuss would only make it more uncomfortable for him. I really had not expected the message to go over so well so quickly, and was heart broken that this little three year-old had let go of my hand, had walked up to the chair, lifted his sleeve and presented his arm to a skeptical nurse. The only one that cried that day was me.

With D, my daughter, who's now three herself, it's a completely different story. When we returned to the US from India two years ago she went through a spate of tests that involved drawing blood. The repeated visits at that age (she was barely one) and having needles stuck in her arm each time cemented a dreadful connection in her mind - a visit to the doctor meant injections. That association is starting to fray a bit, but we're nowhere close to me talking to her about not fussing for shots.

When our turn came at the doctor's office, C raised his hand when the nurse asked who was going first. He went through the drill with minimal talking. Then it was D's turn. Fully expecting her to bawl, C stood at the door and covered his ears. I scooped D in my arms and sat down on the chair with her on my lap. D, who had been watching C get his shot eyed the syringe warily. As the nurse lifted D's sleeve, inspiration struck C. He called D, told her to look at him and proceeded to dance a crazy little jig. She turned to me and giggled with an expression that said, "Look mom, C is being silly again." By the time she felt the sharp prick of the needle, she was too engrossed in her brother's antics to spare more than a glance at her arm. The colorful kiddie band-aid had already made an appearance.

As far as D is concerned, C is a major source of fun - he's great for horse rides, to watch movies with, to make puzzles with, to bounce on the bed with, to play tag with, to raid the freezer for ice cream with, to read books with, to tussle with. I hope it's not long before she wraps her mind around all the tiny ways in which he makes her life a little less hurtful.

18 comments:

Sands said...

how totally sweet is that. Wishing them the stay this way forever and forever :)

Sylvia K said...

That's one of the sweetest stories ever and, have to admit, brought a happy tear to the eye! How precious! And yes, may they stay that way forever and forever! It also says a great deal about how they've been raised. Cudos to you, too, Sujatha!

Give them a hug for me!

Sylvia

Kodi's Mom said...

C is such a sweet kid!

Usha said...

I think having a smaller sibling has its advantages for the older one too - it brings our early their sensitive, caring and less self-obsessed side.
Where are my comments on your earlier posts? They seem to be disappearing. :(

Kavi said...

Ah siblings.

I didnt have a sister. But i had one heck of a kid brother. We were partners in crime. And everything else too.

i guess your 'lessons' are paying off big time for him ! And her too.

Sounds wonderful. Great read in the morning. Thanks for sharing

prashant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ugich Konitari said...

Such a wonderful story. Every wonderful D deserves a wonderfully caring C. A great big shabbash to C.

Sometimes though, its reversed. When my son was small he hated injections and would make all those cringing faces. His younger sister never did that. And he even hated seeing her getting the shots. Goes for everyone. I have observed that females tolerate more pain. Than males. Of all ages, it seems.

choxbox said...

you didn't mean this to make me go teary did you?! :)

sujata said...

Ohh thats an amazing brother!! God bless the bond!!

Anonymous said...

aww....tell me your secret please? Mine, while reasonably caring of one-another. (they always pick up two treats, look our for each other in public), bicker SO incessantly - function of age difference maybe? Probably more a function of their personalities...sigh.

M

jinksy said...

Distraction works with so many chilhood foibles! Your son seems to have learned the art to perfection.

Priyanka Rajkhowa said...

Awww...this is so cute...adorable!

ra said...

how sweet!

Tharini said...

That is so so sweet. So sweet, its left me smiling wide!

Meena Maami? Meenu Mommy! said...

The blog is good, but the C D N notations of children made a difficult read for me. Request you to have a different blognames for them, if you dont want to reveal the original names :)

Minal said...

Sujatha,
That's really sweet of C indeed!! Hope they stay the same when they grow up!!!

Sujatha said...

Thank you all for indulging him. He loves it, for sure!

Ugich, that's a good thing, given all the pain that's in store for women.

Usha, totally agree.
Not sure about the comments. I think the last one was on the 9/11 post and it's still there.

Meena Maami, I agree with you. It is totally getting out of hand. Will devise a way to resolve it. Thanks for dropping by.

M, it's most probably age. C is 6 years older than D. But he still pesters her. So not to say it's all angelic! :)

Ardra said...

And Suja, why are my eyes moist though I'm feeling so good? :-)

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