25 January 2011
What is the right reason to have a second child? Sometimes, I find Tanvi is so lonely, I feel like going for a second child. I have seen her smothering other kids & babies with so much love that, I feel she must be missing a companion. She longs for company, maybe that’s why she does that. Whether the child is older or younger than her, age doesn’t seem to matter to her. As long as she has someone to play with, she’s happy to be with the kid for hours & days together. I play with her too but it’s not the same. Two children playing together & a child-an adult playing is very different.
I went for the first child for two reasons. One, simply because I became pregnant without trying. Two, I wanted to experience motherhood first hand; right from the conception to the entire term of the pregnancy to the labor & the delivery. This is one & the only experience that is reserved just for women. In my next life, if I am born a man, I will miss out on it. Also, this is one of those beautiful things you can’t buy off the rack. No matter how much money you’ve, or how many degrees you’ve earned, or how hard you’ve tried, no matter what, you can’t be a mother (biological) unless God wishes you to be & at the time He wishes it to happen. It is entirely in HIS hands. So if I have got pregnant without trying for it, I felt I should go on the whole journey.
Similarly, there are reasons why I don’t want to have a second (biological) child. And that is simply because I have gone through it all once. I have seen it all, been there, and done that; that too all alone; single-handedly. I know how horrifyingly lonely it gets sometimes & how terribly painful some days are. I don’t want to go through it all over again. Why would I, in my sane mind, want to suffer the hell of labor pain & the stress of raising a baby & the nine months of captivity & the countless hours, nights & days of just wanting to kill myself because I was so damn tired – emotionally, physically? Why would I want to go for it again? Once is enough; more than enough, in fact.
But when I see Tanvi, sometimes playing by herself, ingenuously role-playing, talking to a water tap on the terrace, or the chair or sofa in the hall or the railing of the stairway, pretending these things are people, & having a conversation with them, I feel so bad. I feel momentarily miserable that she doesn’t have a sibling to play with. Or even a kid in the building or the neighborhood. At those times, I so want to give her a sister or brother she can spend hours talking to.
I just want to give her a friend, a lifelong friend. Not the kind who come & go on weekends. Among the neighborhood children, the big ones bully her. The little babies only coo along; they are always under a 24 hours surveillance of their parents. If Tanvi so much as bends over to plant a light kiss on the baby’s cheeks, the parents shriek “NOOO”. They also usually forget that Tanvi is only 4 years old, a baby too & want her to be this ‘big sister role-model’ & conveniently expect her to be all sacrificing with her toys & crayons & cars & even if the other baby smacks her, to not smack back as a reflex action.
Some women say they went for a 2nd child because their mother-in-law or husband asked them to. Some say relatives said 2 kids is a must for a family. Some even said the second child ensures that, should something happen to one of them, you’d still have one more to hold on to especially if you cross the child-bearing age!! Like, if one dies, you’ve the other to carry on the family name!
I am not sure if I want anyone to carry on my name, let alone my family’s!