I usually write about my brother Michael and my relationship with him. But my 8 1/2 year old granddaughter’s mother will have a baby any day now. On the eve of siblinghood, I asked Sidra her thoughts about becoming a big sister.
Jack: How long have you wanted a baby brother or sister?
Sidra: 8 years, my whole life.
Jack: You wanted to a brother or sister since you were 6 months old?
J: How far back do you remember?
S: I went to school, my parents had a business and I was lonely. I wanted someone who could entertain me and who I could entertain.
Nana (butinsky): A companion?
S: Yeah, a companion.
J: Did you want a brother or a sister?
S: Either one. I just wanted somebody to play with and have fun with and somebody I didn’t have to ask Mom’s permission to go and see.
J: Didn’t you want Mom and Dad all to yourself?
S: Yeah, but I wanted somebody I could love that I could see almost every day.
J: You saw Mom and Dad every day, didn’t you?
S: I didn’t see Mom and Dad that much when they were running the business. I know that is a little exaggeration, but it’s the truth.
J: So you entertained yourself a lot?
S: It wasn’t easy.
J: I thought you had a lot of friends.
S: Yeah, but I hardly saw them.
J: You know Mom and Dad will be pretty busy with your baby brother. How do you feel about that?
S: Perfectly fine. He’ll grow up soon enough.
J: How soon?
S: Very soon.
J: He’ll be little and helpless for a long time.
S: Sometimes you have to wait and think about the good that will come.
J: They will need your help.
J: How would you help take care of your brother?
S: Change diapers, feed him, big sister stuff; I’d entertain him.
S: I don’t exactly want Mom and Dad to expect me to drop everything to take care of him. Just because you have a sibling doesn’t mean you can’t live your own life.
J: You know, you might have to make some sacrifices.
S: Like what?
J: Like Mommy wanting you to help when you don’t want to.
J: What would you do?
S: I’d help. Because then they would appreciate it, and it’s nice to be appreciated.
J: But what if you got angry? Chances are you will be angry at some time, and that’s ok.
S: I probably will.
J: What would you do?
S: I’d hold myself in.
J: How would you get the anger out?
S: I’d scream into a pillow.
J: That’s a good way to cope.
S: Yeah. Sometimes when I’m in a sporting goods store and I’m angry, I punch the boxing thing and run on a treadmill.
J: That’s a wonderful way to get off some steam. Is it ok if I interview you again from time to time after your brother is born?
J: Thank you Sidra, I love you.
S: I love you too, Zayde.