The First-Child Experiment



As I clumsily balanced the extraordinary bundle of joy – my first born – in my inexperienced hands, tears of joy, pride and happiness had only blurred the vision before me, not the blueprint of his future the husband and I had developed over the previous nine months.

I saw not just tiny fingers that were clasped tightly together but those that would master not one but many musical instruments or would they clasp the scalpel and go on to revolutionize Medical Sciences?

My eyes drank into his perfect features and wondered if he would become the face of World Cinema.

Or would he be the next ‘Armstrong’ to step onto the moon of the next inhabitable planet in another galaxy?

He could be anything.

Or still better, he could be everything.

My smile and eyes shone with pride as the doctor who had stood witness to innumerable such extraordinary moments of proud parents, smiled politely.

Over the next few weeks we understood that our son who carried the weight of our dreams on his developing shoulders cried, threw up, screamed for attention at 2 am like a baby should.

I made sure I bought more bottles of disinfectant than Formula as every toy, every dress, every piece of furniture he touched or might touch were wiped squeaky clean.

The husband suggested that I sing him nursery rhymes as lullabies so that he would be ahead of his class at kindergarten.

Every new event was researched, all of them captured and celebrated.

Then came along Little Princess.

She has thrived four years sans bottles of disinfectant and meals that did not include at least three types of food from every group in the food pyramid.

We did not rush to the most qualified Pediatrician and bombard him with questions when the thermometer showed her temperature to rise by 0.005 degree Celsius.

No extraordinary techniques or extensive research were required as she sailed from one developmental milestone to another, not because she was less difficult but because as parents, we were.

So when her kindergarten teacher complained that she was too busy tearing the sheets of her neighbor’s book as her class progressed with alphabets, I feigned an expression of shock for how was I to explain that I let my second-born shred a handful of paper while I spent evenings helping Sid with his homework or the fact that she had learnt 20 lines of Sid’s elocution poem by heart than the alphabets that her class had progressed with.

But I knew, as it has been with everything for my second born, this too shall pass.


39 responses »

  1. First time parents always bring down the roof for the slightest deviation from the normal. I have been guilty of it too Pranitha 😊
    With the next one, we are more experienced I guess with our parenting skills and more relaxed! We let them blossom naturally, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could relate to your ‘first-child’ experiment,when the very first bundle of joy is the first and the best to have happened to Mother Earth.But as more bundles arrive, the champion parents, already veterans, would learn that one supremely sublime lesson- ‘just let ’em be;they’ll fend for themselves’!

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  3. hehe parents are always like that and a small thing makes them overwork. As a child, Mom and Dad were like them, not sparing me the scent of the hospital that I abhorred till now. It shows how caring parents are and a small thing makes them blow their top.

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  4. That’s how we, human beings, are wired. We go loco over every ‘first times’ only to find out the second time around that it’s not really that complicated at all. Every child is special, the second and those who followed are not a bit less (at least in essence), yet, we, parents, just eventually learned thru experience to be less loco about them and a bit less freaky ourselves, haha.
    I am a first child, and I’d be lying if I say that it doesn’t tickle my bones everytime I am reminded of the fact about how my parents used to treat me like I’m the sole reason and purpose of their existence hahaha!
    Lovely post Pranitha. Had fun reading ☺👍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahahahahahaha Omg! I felt like I was reading a page of a funny book. I’m still laughing 😂😂 the part about tiny fingers and dreams of the parents made me so giddy! Oh just so beautiful❤ and then came the real fun when you started talking about your daughter and the page tearing event. But you also made me learn something, that you just have to let it be in life sometimes and it shall too pass. Thank you for that❤😄
    Also, the more I look around now the more I realise how hard parenting is. I mean I was travelling and met two of my cousins, I am elder to both of them but their bickering, complaints just like that of any normal siblings compelled me a lot of times to intervene and within days they started involving me more and more in all of their affairs and I had to say, “I already feel like I have kids! Omg this is so hard! How do they manage?”
    So with each passing day my respect for my mom and that of others and for the fathers is increasing because saying it is difficult would be such an understatement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Parenting is indeed a like taking a bizarre roller coaster ride and an every day learning school. I am still figuring it out. Kudos to our parents for their patience, their timely interventions, their advises and all that they worked for us.
      So glad you had a good laugh, TW! Always a pleasure to have you in this space and read your feedback.So sweet of you. Really.
      Have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello dear friend😄 I can’t emphasis enough on how much I agree with parents’ patience, timely interventions and advices, that’s what made us what we are. We owe them everything❤


  6. What a lovely tribute to both of your children and to experience, I’m the first-born and perhaps my brother who came after me had a more carefree childhood, your words have put it in great perspective for me (I don’t have to take it personally anymore!)!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have I mentioned how much I like being in your creative space?? Love reading your articles that always manage to combine humour with profound topics.
    This article reminds me of the time my little baby brother tore all the pages from the books when I was in 2nd grade!I remember my mom’s struggle trying to piece it all back together. “This too shall pass” is probably what she told herself at that point and maybe sometimes even now 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, we have all been through this, havn’t we Divya, specially when you have a naughty sibling who finds creativity in destruction. I have experienced this with my brother too but with my little one it is a whole new experience, her creative zeal is taking to pushing itself and invading every corner of our home. But yes, this too shall pass. 🙂
      Thank you so very much, Divya, your words of motivation warms my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderfully written! I can relate to your first born, not the second princess. I have only one princess. I didn’t have a warm meal for her first two years. She learned all the nursery rhymes before preschool. She never had any ice cream over her face, I wiped the corner of her mouth until she finished her ice cream. I always wanted to have more than one child but didn’t dare to bring another life into this world when my ex gave me no rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha 🙂 Thank you, Miriam. I did the same with my first born but strangely, not sure if the thrill wares off or you learn with experience that the children are better off without your over indulgence but I must say she has turned out so much more independent than my first.
      Yet, recollecting those memories still warms our hearts.
      Thank you for your feedback, Miriam and wishing you a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve missed your articles. Being a firstborn, Amma always tells me that I received way more attention than my brother. 😂 It’s good to see you, Pranitha. And today I’m going to catch up on all that I’d missed out.


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