Friday, February 20, 2009

Bonding With the Nephew

(This is a picture of my brother and Li'l General taken about a fortnight ago, at my hometown.)

Let's start at the beginning. I have one sibling: a brother, who lives in the US; we meet once every year in January. January, in particular, because two years ago, in 2006, my brother came down in December to be a support for mom during my delivery. Thanks to Li'l General, the January time-line for vacation has stuck with the family ever since. We have a reunion of sorts at my hometown with mom coming in first, followed by me, then my brother, and finally dad/The Seniol.

The picture above was taken a day before we left for our respective destinations this year; it brings back a lot of memories of the twenty-odd days LG spent with my brother. Last January, when my brother saw LG for the first time after his new-born days, he was a little crawling cutie who was all over the place. Old enough to have fun with others, but still too young to forge bonds, understand separation, and crave to hang around with someone. In that respect, this vacation was quite a contrast. From the minute, my brother landed, LG enjoyed his company every second. It was strange in way because LG is familiar with all members of the family through pictures that I show him on the laptop everyday. However, pictures of LG and my brother taken together are all online and I've always been lazy to show them to LG, so my brother's face must have been as good as a stranger's.

LG literally idolized his uncle this time. Every thing he said or asked LG to do, was etched in stone; every instruction to be followed; every word to be repeated, it's just endless. LG is an early-riser. My brother, on the other hand, has had a screwed up sleep schedule for years now. He goes to sleep for a couple of hours at 5:00 a.m. (which ever part f the world he is in), and is the most irritated if someones tries to wake him around 8ish. LG would go around announcing to everyone in the house that his uncle is sleeping and that he is not to be disturbed, full with sound effects and actions (titled head to indicate sleeping, shushing, and a finger in the mouth). And then, when he can't bear it no more, he will go in say, "mama gepuck" (read: get up). After two or three attempts, he will be like "Pein, pein, wapuck."(read: wake up). LG doesn't get my brother's name right, so says "Pein, pein". If his uncle is to take a shower, LG will ask us to switch on the exhaust fan, and ensure "Pein" has taken a towel etc. One day, it was quite funny, when he said, "Pein, tchoap, tchoap) (read: bathe with soap). LG raised hell when my brother had to go for two days to attend his friend's wedding at a neighboring town. He misses him a lot now. Puts on this sad face every time we refer to my brother in conversations.

The maturity with which my brother handled LG, took extra care of him every time we went shopping or for a stroll in the evenings touched me. He went that extra mile to carry him on his shoulders while we navigated our way through the busy roads. His sensitivity for a toddler's timings was much appreciated. He went to extra lengths that was uncalled for which I did make clear (read: buying gifts everyday for his dear nephew from a battery-operated flying helicopter to a remote-controlled car). Who would go at 10 in the night to get batteries just so that the helicopters would fly the next morning when his nephew wakes up? That was stretching it too far, right?
Most importantly, he would LG for me so that I could go out of home for a while, if only to get some fresh air. I've never felt so privileged. It's awesome to have family. Seriously. And the bonding between my brother and LG was delightfully overwhelming.