Tag Archives: The pressures of being the first born

The First-Child Experiment

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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.

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