Creativity is a good thing to have. And it is even better if you can use it in your everyday life, especially when you have very curious young children. My son is one of the most inquisitive people I have seen ūüôā His questions never stop coming. Even while I am giving him a bath, he¬†is asking me one question after another. So I need to be thinking on my feet all the time in order to¬†satisfy his inquisitive mind and to put it in simple enough way to make him understand. Also, sometimes, the questions cannot be answered by simple truth, so I have to make all kinds of stories around them so that his young mind can take away a good thing/value from the conversation. In a very strict sense, I am not telling the truth and probably being manipulative but then the truth might not be interesting enough for a child. So I create stories about simple things in life.

For example, consider this. When I knew I was expecting my son, my daughter was just about a year old. And I had read all these articles about older siblings feeling jealous of a new baby that I was scared. I figured the best way to help my daughter accept and love her baby brother was to start before he was born. So I¬†started telling her how Goddess Gauri* was going to grant her¬†a beautiful wish. I let her spend time with her favorite doll and kept telling her she will have a¬† baby like the doll to play with. I used to point at my tummy and tell her that her¬†gift was growing there and will be out soon. I tried to tell her in the best way I could and I am not sure how well she understood me, but she responded to my son’s birth very well. She never felt jealous of him and though she was only 19 months when he was born, she behaved like a responsible elder sis towards him. I don’t know if my talking to her about his arrival had anything to do with it, yet I continued to tell her the story. The story was this. A little girl was born to a couple who had prayed for her and they loved her very much. Then, she grew up a little and would play with her mom & dad. Though she enjoyed their company and loved her parents very much, yet she wanted to play with a child. So she prayed to Goddess Gauri to give her a little brother. Since Goddess Gauri is very kind and listens to everyone’s prayers, especially children’s, She granted the little girl her wish and said “Dear little girl, your brother will come to your home on May 8, 2008, who will love you and be your friend for life. You have to promise to love him and take care of him.”¬†So, Shiku arrived into our lives on the promised date.

I thought I was quite smart and started using this story every time the children fought with each-other or complained about each-other, reminding them that they were supposed to love each-other. But this generation of kids is even smarter.

One day, while I was telling this story the nth time to Chunchu¬†and Shiku, he really got irritated and said, “But mom, this means didi (big sister in Hindi) wanted me as her brother. But I never prayed for her! So why do I have to put up with her?” I must admit I was stunned¬†for a few moments! His question was right at the mark! For few moments, my mind went blank and I uttered a few ahh’s and umm’s. Then, I turned to him and told him another story.

I said, “Shiku, I am glad you asked. But do you really think this choosing for siblings is a one way process?” And he was like, “So? What happens?” And I replied, “You know where little kids stay before they are born?” He said, remembering my answer to another of his questions, “Yes, I know. The little kids stay with Goddess Gauri. I remember you had told me some time back.” I was encouraged¬†by his belief and continued with my story, “So when Goddess receives a wish/prayer from a child for a younger sibling, she asks all the unborn children to gather in a big room. This room has a big projector. The purpose of this projector is to look into the lives of the children who are already¬†born and praying for a sibling. So Goddess shows the unborn children a few hours from the life of the child who has wished for a brother or sister. Same thing happened when Chunchu¬†wished for a brother.¬†The Goddess gathered Shiku¬†and all children in the room as is the process and she put on the projector. Everyone saw one-year old Chunchu¬†playing around the house. Every few minutes, she would go to her mom and would cuddle her. She was talking in baby language and was so happy. She looked very beautiful and lovable. Then, Goddess Gauri asked every child in the room who wanted the little girl as their elder sister. Shiku¬†liked Chunchu¬†so much that he raised his hand before anyone else and started yelling – I want her to be my didi. Gauri smiled and asked him if he was sure or if he wanted to look at more footage to decide. Shiku¬†replied he was sure. So then, it was decided¬†that Shiku¬†will be born in Chunchu’s home.”

And to this day, I do not know how I thought of this whole situation about Goddess Gauri and unborn children, but I smiled to myself after the narration and said, “Well done, Manisha!” So now, whenever¬†Shiku¬†and Chunchu fight, I tell them the complete story – of how they chose each-other. Also, they love the story.

Perhaps some day, when they grow up, they will know I was just cooking up something. But who knows – perhaps that’s how it really happens ūüėČ

*Goddess Gauri – A Hindu diety, who is believed¬†to very kind hearted and an epitome of mother’s love.