Priyanka Chaturvedi

It's all about me!!My people, my favourite things, my raving and my ranting too!

DNA Column: When siblings go to war

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There was a time when I thought that I could never be a good mom; I still don’t claim that I am. It was very difficult for me to bond with new born babies.

I couldn’t coochie-coo babies or even attempt to handle them. Babies used to make me uncomfortable and I would look at the moms who used to have sleepless nights and all things not nice, with a sense of amazement. But then, I chose to be a mom and my life turned 360 degrees! Not that I am a splendid mom, but yes I would say I am doing a decent job of it.

After bringing up a tantrummy, hyperactive, and extremely naughty first born, the husband and I were very clear that we wouldn’t go for another baby. Yes, this despite the fact that I come from a large family myself and I know the significance of having a sibling. But then that’s what we thought and it was not to be because as soon as my son turned three, he kept talking about having a sibling to play with. And that single emotional plea from him forced us to rethink our decision. I remember reading these lines somewhere during those indecisive days ‘Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way’. We thought and re-thought and came to the conclusion that this was it and another baby was needed. For the love of the first , the second was plotted!


If I was to expect that the two would bond from day one, I was sadly mistaken. Once we settled at home I would see my son quietly go and poke her with a pencil, pinch her to get her to cry and various other creative ways were found to make trouble for her. Now, now in case you think I hadn’t geared up for such behaviour let me be clear that loads of books and research had been done on how to make the first born feel comfortable when the second one arrives. So as I tried to be the referee between the two. Little did I know that this would turn out to be my full-time job as a mom.

I can easily say my assessment was not wrong. My daughter grew up to be a fighter too. She would give back as good as she got from him despite the four-year age gap between the two. Once, fed up with their constant fights, I asked their doctor if this was normal between the two, and she reassured me it was absolutely normal and healthy for siblings to squabble all the time. But after that I have often wondered, what about my own mental health managing the two?

Yes though they do fight and there’s never a peaceful moment between the two, they both are always together when it comes to fighting it out with others. That gives me hope, fills me with positivity, that if they both choose they can get along and be on the same side. And till the time they do not get along and keep fighting, I will patiently play the role of a referee! As long as it is sibling revelry rather than sibling rivalry, I do not mind my rapidly graying hair.


Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

March 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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