Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Does a second child make your first one happier?

It's crazy that I'm even thinking about it. And those who know me and how I protest a second child will sadistically say "Aaah see, we knew you would come around to this..."

My point is, does having a second child benefit the older one, and, eventually the second child too? I'm beginning to think my little fella is lonely. When I say benefit, I mean from the company.

Two things happened yesterday. It was Ugadi, we were all at home. Suddenly Sonny said "Where's my tamma paapa (younger brother/baby)?" He has a doll that he calls that -- TP -- I'll call him. But he doesn't play with that doll all the time. He just lies around the house randomly mostly. But suddenly Sonny's love for TP overflows. Yesterday he held him and brought him on teh bike to my parents' place. There he put him on his lap and put him to bed. On teh bike, he held his hand on his head saying "Otherwise the sun will hit him hard on the head!"!!!! I was a Melting Mommy.

I asked him "So do you really want a TP (younger brother)? A real one? Not this doll..." And he promptly said "No, I want this doll TP ONLY." I was in splits.

Later in the evening I took him to my best friend's place. She too has an only child -- a daughter -- and after their usual measuring up of each other, trying to snatch toys from each other routine, they were both jumping around in the apartment courtyard so happily together.

I was honestly happy to see him play WITH SOMEONE HIS OWN AGE.
It's such a frustrating life. I can't take him to playgroup because I'm hardly ever home. My parents refuse to; they prefer the arrangement of a nanny/maid to that of day care/play group.
I've only seen Sonny play with older folk.
I'm feeling guilty that I'm killing his childhood by dumping him with adults all day long.

There are some older kids in our apartment but he's barely there. And there are no kids around where my folks stay -- which is where he is most of the time.

At the cost of sounding stupid and crazy i feel like having a second child so that my first has company!! But it doesn't sound right at all. That messes up my mind further.

Sonny's going through a phase where he's being so difficult and stubborn and cranky and headstrong. And like in India everyone says to anyone who's a bit "off the track" in adult years -- "shaadi kara do, sab theek ho jaayega", now everyone says to me "have another baby, he'll become ok". I'm actually giving it some thought now. Should I, would I, could I? Do I really want to? Ufffffffff


uma said...

OMG!!! you sound so much like me..
I am not exactly thinking of having a second one right away but I have been like you, so far, detesting and contesting anyone who would ask why not! lately I have been wondering about this on pretty much the same lines...am I depriving R of a sibling..SIGH..there is no right answer to this, believe me. But I feel taking a step in a confused frame of mind can complicate things further..just like shaadi does not set put a wastrel on the right path.
So, take your time to decide. Either ways, be totally convinced of the reasons...for yourself more than anyone else..
I'll be waiting with bated breath..if one more of my clan joins the other side, I will begin to feel lonely...;-)..(just kidding..)

Aparna said...

Don't know if this helps in any way, but in my case I was an only child, and though there were friends in the colony and all, I definitely missed having a sibling. So I always knew that if physically possible, I would have two children for sure :).

They can fight like crazy sometimes, but there's definitely a bond developing there and I feel happy with my decision ..umm.. most of the time anyway ;).

Anonymous said...

It's funny how all moms think the same way. The guilt, the need for sibling, obsessions and protectiveness!

When I had my son I was totally unprepared because he was an unplanned baby. In many ways I am still very unprepared. So almost always I rule out the option of having a second one. How old is your son now?

Garima said...

HAha.. loving the analogy... shaadi karo do... dussra bacha kar loo..

to be honest, my kiddo is 3 as well.. and those thoughts are going through my head. I am selfish.. and the reason I dont want to have more.. is I have so much fun with my baby... I dont want to give that time away. But I do see her craving for kids and there play time.
To have more kids or no, is a family decision...
Right now to me, my family feels complete with one kid.. it might change with time. We will get there when we get there.

Meanwhile.. do try to have play dates/groups.. It will really help him interact with other kids. It does help my kids!

Aparna said...

Hi! Now I just HAD to respond to this post :) First of all, having a sibling will not solve anything. Defly it will not make sonny boy happier in the short term (why should it, he's got competition!) -- in fact it will make him more cranky, more stubborn. more everything that u dislike :( I guess he's just passing thro the 2s and 3s phase - he'll get over it.
Second, I personally think it's great to have more than 1 kid without too much of an age gap. They'll be best friends. But only if you want to invest in the time, effort and sheer exhaustion of caring for two instead of one. Don't let anyone kid you into thinking that having 2 will be easier than caring for one - they're bluffing!
Like Uma says, take ur time to decide. I don't think it's possible to be too rational abt the baby-making decision. Just be as rational as u can :)