I remember the day we brought Isa in to see his sister for the first time. Despite our effort to prepare him for the moment e.g. begin calling him Abang Long (‘Big Brother’) much earlier, reading pregnancy books together, and bringing him along to ultrasound sessions with the obstetrician, letting him choose the name for his sister (He chose Khadijah over Khaulah, and even cried to make his point -_-‘ , his expression at that moment was priceless. It was something I couldn’t bring myself to snap a photo of.
He was stunned at the sight of a baby – one unknown and unfamiliar to him – lying next to me.
But Isa warmed up quite quickly to his sister.
The family members have been well advised by my concern parents to pay extra attention to Isa, which I believe that really helped him to adjust. He’s fine during the early days, and to date, after four months I could see that both my children adore each other, Alhamdulillah.
I love to observe the dynamics of the brother-sister relationship. Sure, the love between them are God-given, but isn’t it amazing to see such pure, somehow selfless love emerges?
1. More often than not, the first thing Isa would ask once he wakes up is ‘Where is Khadijah?‘ and ‘Is she awake?‘
2. Sometimes, when both of them are awake before I do, I will rise to the sounds of laughter of my children entertaining each other. That’s pretty heavenly if you ask me.
3. Khadijah sleeps better if she has her brother on her side.
4. Things Isa does to Khadijah which I thought would make her cry often makes her smile and laugh.
5. Isa doesn’t think of Khadijah as a hindrance to him playing. In fact he welcomes her, which is evident by the fact that he could not understand why he needs to be quiet so that Khadijah will fall asleep to allow mommy to play with him. Khadijah can always join, that’s what he’s saying.
6. No, he would not entertain the idea of leaving Khadijah to someone else to be looked after. During the early days, he would urge me to stop whatever I was doing and go tend to Khadijah if she cried.
7. The concern on him hurting Khadijah only arises when he is sleepy. He’d attempt all sorts of weird things – like all sleepy kids do when they are overly tired; when he could not control himself. Like a few days back, when he bit Khadijah’s little finger and her chubby arm. *mommy cries*
8. Of all the things I do with Khadijah that excludes him, reading aloud for her is the only activity he could not tolerate. Once he screamed and rolled on the floor crying because I read to Khadijah while he was having his meal and could not join. Well, I take that as a sign that reading is such an intimate, pleasurable time that he never want to miss.
9. These days I often catch him singing and ‘reading’ books to his little sister. That melts my heart, you know.
10. And in return for all the sweet gestures her brother has shown to her, Khadijah has scratched his brother’s forehead and cheeks, torn his brother’s Lego instruction sheets, and destructed his brother’s train tracks – when mommy least expected it. Her brother’s reaction? ‘Khadijah, jangan XXX, nanti Allah marah, nanti Abang Long marah!’ (Khadijah, don’t do that. Or else God will be angry with you, and I will be angry with you.)
It’s a beautiful relationship they have, and though things are going fine thus far, but I don’t know what the future holds – so I am still going to read that ‘Siblings without Rivalry’ book!
May Allah ease.