A friend remarked to me recently that "Baby sisters have to be tough". She speaks from experience because, like me, her first-born is a boy and her second is a girl. Every day, I pray for Y's well-being as she spares space with her rambunctious and hyper older brother. She crawls underfoot as he dashes from one corner of the house to another with no regard for any tiny hands and feet that he might encounter. If he finds her examining any of his toys, he lets out a high-pitched shriek, catches her around the tummy and bodily flings her into another corner of the room. This happens atleast twice a day. For that one terrible instant when she is up in the air and I am transfixed and powerless to save her, I find myself holding my breath and praying for a relatively smooth landing. She falls with a thud, a mildly puzzled expression on her face -- and I exhale.
At that moment, what I would really like to do is shake Ads really hard and give him a good spanking. It takes every ounce of control not to do so and I vent by yelling at him. We have explained to him that hitting or shoving his sister is not warranted under any circumstances but he does it anyway. So we don't leave the two of them alone without one of us being close at hand to supervise.
It's easy to forget that Y is only 7 months old, given how enthusiastically she wants to join in with any horseplay that's happening around her. Last night, S and I and the 2 kids were in bed. Ads was in ice-cream-induced high spirits, jumping and kicking. S and I ducked every few seconds, trying to avoid major organ damage and shielding Y from the worst of the blows. She was unfazed, laughing, standing up and raring to be a part of the crazy game her brother was playing.
Yes indeed, baby sisters have to be very very tough.