They are growing to be friends, the baby and my boy. How lucky to witness their relationship begin. A laugh and a scream and a pull of the hair. A bedtime kiss and a face lit up with a smile. It will change I know. They will argue and fight. Already my son despairs at a playroom no longer his own, at a sister who pulls, topples and chews her way to the other side. A bull in his china shop - who pays no heed to her brothers best laid plans. He must learn to share then, in a house where he is due to meet his match.
But a friendship none the less, of flesh and blood and bonds - I hope - to last a lifetime. I tell them, 'Stick together for the future, wait not for illness or tragedy to bring you around. Know each others children and remember that you were children together yourselves. Do not become strangers, it would suit you not.'
The baby smiles and lunges at his foot. Good start then, she is leaving nowt to chance. Quick to claim what is hers by right - a brother bigger, louder, stronger than herself. 'Keep him close' I say, 'he'll do you proud'. Then gone! She rolls from our reach, my boy in hot pursuit. Not from love, protection or from choice - but a final fling, a last attempt for control of the room. Before - inevitably - our growing, gutsy, clever girl, claims half of his floor space and half of his toys... x