Yesterday, my dad asked me to do yet another small chore (don’t remember what) for my baby brother. I got irritated and told him that I wouldn’t do it. He joking replied that I’ll only have to put up with it for a few more months, so I should just do it. (referring to my wedding in less than TWO MONTHS. omg. I hate it when I count. :S lol) But anyway, I still didn’t want to do whatever the errand was, and answered back to my dad. “Whatever, the worst is already over, I’ve seen through the hardest part. After I leave, he’ll be all grown up and self-sufficient. There’ll be nothing for you guys to do.” After that, I rolled my eyes, and because I knew no one else would bother to, did the errand anyway.
So, in light of my above not-quite-brazenness, I thought it wise to make up a list of my achievements with my baby brother. I have put up with A LOT, and God knows this. But due to my extreme case of pat-on-the-back syndrome, I must congratulate myself, and appreciate myself, even if no one else will. (that’s a lie, I’m sure everyone knows, they just don’t say it because they know it’ll inflate my sense of self-importance to dangerous levels)
Where to begin?
From the beginning my baby brother was a marvel. I loved to watch and observe him. From a pure science geek point of view, and a sister’s point of view. I loved to notice his growing awareness of the wonderful world around him, the development of his own unique personality. I’d always notice it every time he did something new. It fascinated me beyond measure. I’d wonder, with impatience, about when he’d be able to walk and talk, and my mind would be blown. I thought it’d be the bestest thing ever! I wanted him to grow up so bad. I thought of the day when he’d be able to tell us himself if he was hungry or wanted something, of when he’d be able to go to the bathroom and take care of his own business himself (yes! No more toxic diaper fumes!), of when he’d grow old enough to play by himself, without depending on us to constantly entertain him. (No matter how energetic you are, you WILL get tired of making faces, picking up and carrying them around, and inventing new things to do to appease them) But as he grew gradually older, I learned that with greater locomotive and mental abilities, comes great trouble. (said in Uncle Ben’s voice).
I’d worry he’d topple over and break his neck, that he’d wander over into the kitchen and take the knives out of the drawer, that he’d pick up and eat stuff off the floor, that he’d learn incorrect Urdu from my retarded brothers, that he’d learn all their bad habits, that he’d grown immune to my scolding, that he’d become ‘dheet’, and so on. Every time, I’ve seen one worry gradually disappear, replaced with an upgraded, level-upped one.
I’ve veered off topic. Let me now enumerate the milestones that are now behind us.
- He doesn’t drool anymore. Ugh. I’d need to pad my neck when holding him or else I’d get baby drool all over my neck. Gross.
- He doesn’t need to be burped. I used to wonder what happened to babies if you don’t burp them. I used to think they’d explode or something. Turns out it was something much worse…
- He doesn’t projectile vomit when not burped. lol. It’s a miracle of nature, babies throwing up. You’ll not believe how far up in the air that vomit can fly. And the QUANTITY. I do believe babies’ torsos are half stomach alone
- No more making formula bottles. That stuff STANK. I’m highly suspicious of what the makers put in it.
- He doesn’t need anyone to change his diapers.He doesn’t WEAR diapers anymore. He doesn’t fill the car with putrid odors, he can relieve himself properly, even if he has developed a weird fancy for public bathrooms. (I kid you not. He LOVES public bathrooms. He goes just for the heck of it, and we can’t NOT take him, even if we are suspicious that he’s faking it. The first whisper of ‘I have to pee’ sends us in a state of panic. Then he goes to the bathroom and (I’m told) he first excitedly asks what type of flush button there is. Don’t even ask about the one time he had to do it outdoors in the desert. He was so happy! lol.)
- He’s gotten over his bathroom toilet bowl fixation! Till when he about two and a half, he had this obsession with bathrooms. He’d see a door open and dart for it, and laugh when he got caught. Then he’d dart for it when he thought no one was looking. And he’d go in and play with the water in the toilet. He’d throw toys into the bowl, and his arms would be wet till his elbows. Each time we’d cringe and do the horrified ‘why?? WHY?!!’ routine. Because of him, by other brothers learned to close the bathroom door behind them instead of always leaving it half open. Then (horror of horrors) he grew tall enough to just barely be able to tip the doorknob and get it open. Then we had to put latches high up on the bathroom doors and my brothers had to be trained to actually remember to close it whenever getting out.
- That reminds me, he learned how to open the front door and there’d be times when we’d just suddenly see the door open, search the house for him, and realize that he just walked out! He’d be found in the parking lot usually. But still, scary. I’m SO glad this mindless phase of his is over. Now he just makes us worry on purpose.
- He doesn’t need to be carried or pushed around in a stroller anymore. Such a pain, seriously. And since we had two cars, a lot of the time we’d go somewhere and realize on opening the trunk that the baby carriage was in the other car. My baby brother may be a runt, but he’s always been deceptively heavy. (mashallah, as my mother always reminds me to say. lol)
- He doesn’t climb onto my dresser and mess with my stuff. He understands it’s off limits. But that’s not before he ruined countless things of mine. Oh, the many times I walked into my room to catch him red handed with his hands deep in some jar of cream, or eyeliner all over his face and clothes and so many other incidents. The infuriating thing during this period was that when you looked at him and got mad, he’d have this completely blank unknowing expression on his face, because he literally was too young to understand anything. SIGH. I regret complaining about those times. Life was so simple back then. All I had to worry about was if my bedroom door was closed. No lies, no trickery, no stubbornness.
- He eats human food now! I remember it was such a pain making food for him separately. It was worrisome especially when traveling. He never liked store-bought baby food, so we’d have to make porridges and boiled whatnots for him separately. And making sure they didn’t spoil on the way was worrisome too. Many times he just went without, as he developed his own taste and refused to eat if the food wasn’t seasoned right or warm.
- He can tell us when and what he will or will not eat. I remember throwing so much food away, making it in a futile attempt to fill his tiny tummy. Now, like I said before, it’s been replaced with a worry of a different kind. He’ll request GOURMET stuff. I’ll try to get out of feeding him when I can, but most of the time I do have to do it. I’ll try to seduce him with instant noodles or eggsor something, and he’ll scratch his head, squint as if thinking deeply about it, and say that he wants cheesy pasta or rice or something. Infuriating! And the TIME he takes to chew and swallow! I used to feed him by putting him up on the kitchen counter, so he wouldn’t run away and I could force-feed him and be done within 20 minutes. Now he doesn’t stand for it. He (in a very calm, grown up manner) tells me he wants to eat like the ‘big people’ eat, and as soon as I let him down, he runs off. I refuse to be lead around the house, and have to threaten him with various things to get him to sit down. I am an EXPERT holler-er.
There’s more, but this has gotten long enough for you to get the picture. Writing it has seriously taken me down memory lane. I remembered things I’d almost forgotten. 🙂 I’m glad I wrote some of it down. I whine and gripe and everything, but I don’t want to forget a single thing. I’m scared I will. Ten years from now I don’t want to scratch my head and try to dig up some half-forgotten memories of what this time was like. I don’t remember stuff from a year ago so this is a good thing for me. I wish I’d written more, and more often. Because for a girl like me, memories are the most valuable things in life.
As for my memories with my baby brother and the time that I’ve lived with him till the time I have to move out, I wouldn’t change a thing.