Sister Finger, Sister Finger, Where are you?

It’s nice to have a pair of kids. As wonderful as it is to be a parent, it appears to be better to have siblings. They are believed to determine a child’s character traits and shape the personality he or she is going to develop into. They contribute to shared experiences during the childhood years and if all goes well, translate into lifelong memories and friendships. 

But who is to say whether or not it is better to have same sex siblings? Or do the same-sex siblings have the desire to have another sibling of the other gender? Or whether it impacts the overall understanding of and interactions with the other sex as they grow into adults? Or for that matter, the roles and options they see for themselves growing up? Bringing up two pre-schooler boys, 2 years apart, I think they are quite contended with each other. They seem to be normal kids who play and fight; trying to understand and include each other’s personalities into their everyday routine whilst also carving out separate identities for themselves. Their toys haven’t changed much. Cars, monster trucks, building blocks, dinosaurs, robots, etc. have continued to rule my shelves. Perhaps because the play has continued to be dominated by my older son, with the little one playing catch-up.
However, sometimes they get curious about the concept of sisters. Not very long ago, realizing it was something we didn’t have in our family, he commented, “Mummy, can we buy a sister please?” He was later explained that people couldn’t be shopped for unlike most of the everyday stuff. He later enquired why we couldn’t get one from the hospital unlike his baby brother. We told him he should be happy he still had a brother. Until almost a year ago, he would, in jest, refer to his girl friends as sisters. 

The reactions of my toddler to the absence of a ‘sister finger’ have been more amusing. He is currently very keen on nursery rhymes. The ‘finger family’ rhyme has been his favourite for sometime. As the song progresses to the ‘sister finger’, which is depicted as the ring finger on the hand, he emphatically says, “Ti, No”. In his limited vocabulary it means that we don’t have a sister finger. Sorry about that little fella, but as I see it, you will have to contend with the four of us for now. 

Gradually, as they grow up, they should both get comfortable with the family dynamics between the four of us. I hope that they can still be appreciative and respectful of the sensibilities of the fairer sex. Schooling and social interactions are expected to give them a wider view of life. A lack of a sister shouldn’t be that big a deal. 

And after the dust has settled, what if it’s just me, wishing for a more feminine touch to my life as the boys paint my house blue!

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