Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 53, Tuesday June 22, 2004






'Awaited angel,' or the 'Devil in Disguise'?

She watches silently as both her parents fuss over the new stranger in the family. 'They are ignoring me. Don't they care anymore?' Determinedly, she makes her way over to her father. 'Daddy, I fell down and got hurt today!' Her dad glances at her sideways, 'It's ok hon. No big deal.' Dejectedly, she then goes to her mother thinking of the perfect way to get her attention. 'Mommy, I need you to help me with my homework.' 'Oh, for goodness' sake!' her mum explodes. 'Can't you see I am busy? Do your work yourself; you're grown enough!' She looks sadly at her mum, and then hatefully glances at the newborn baby in her dad's arms. 'It's all your fault,' she silently screams, 'I wish you were never even born!'

Everyone loves babies; in fact the mere mention of a baby can make the grouchiest person smile. For any family a newborn is counted as a blessing; parents start planning and shopping, relatives start wondering about names, even the older children in the family can't suppress their excitement at the thought of their new brother/ sister. For nine months, there's nothing but anticipation in the air. Then the trouble finally arrives.

Trouble? What kind of trouble? This is the expected answer any adult would give you if you were silly enough to bring the topic up. However the cold truth is that adults remain completely oblivious to their children's feelings. The hardest blow strikes the first child of any family when the second sibling is born. Until then, she was the only child of the family, worthy of everyone's undivided attention and love. S/he had expected the upcoming baby to be an adorable playmate and ends up with a competitor for her parents' love. Sounds odd, doesn't it? Too bad it's the cold truth.

A child is originally happy till the moment she actually realises how much the arrival of her new sibling will change things. Suddenly she's stuck with the label of being 'the elder one' (in other words the one who is perfectly capable of looking after his/herself). Not only does she have to be content with less love and attention, but she also faces the dilemma of having to choose between her contentment and her responsibilities. It's definitely a hard task, especially for little children.

Experts say that 'older' children of any family, when having siblings, seem to mature early. They are seen often to have an accurate grasp of the situation, frequently being able to deflect fights, bail others out of complicated situations and avoid scenes. It's hardly surprising as this is probably the daily routine of anyone who is always surrounded by demanding younger brothers/sisters.

Resentment for the older children, when continually being deprived of something they want is normal. Yet what's surprising, is the fact that gradually the older child starts to 'accept' they new kid in the family, first grudgingly, and then with love. In spite of being worst enemies through their childhood, there are uncountable stories of many siblings emerging as soul mates. Parents can actually help to start of this bonding early in life with a bit of love and attention…as long as it's divided between both the children equally!

By Jennifer Ashraf

Reader’s buzz

Dear LS Editor,
A good report on the status of the infertility treatment in Bangladesh was published in your esteemed daily on 8th June. This has missed our name. We would like to inform that Harvest infertility care ltd has been providing state of the art ART treatment including ICSI, IVF, embryo cryopreservation, blastocyst transfer, assisted hatching, in this country since the beginning of 2003. This report has mentioned names of institutions, which are yet to provide such treatment facilities whereas failed to mention our name, which is working successfully here in Bangladesh.

Our first ICSI baby was delivered on 14th December of 2003. Many have delivered after that and many are with continuing pregnancy. At present this centre is enjoying a 40% pregnancy rate (below the age of 40 years of female), which is very good indeed in the world perspective. As the treatment cost is very less in comparison to the developed countries, with a comparable result, couples are coming from USA, UK and other countries to have treatment here. We are grateful to Allah that we have already achieved pregnancy in case where there was failure abroad.

Prof M. Anwar Hossain FRCOG of BSMMU is the medical director of this centre. Dr Mustaque Ahmed holding the first post graduate degree in Bangladesh in ART is the embryologist and managing director who was trained in university of Nottingham under renowned reproduction scientist Dr Simon Fishel who was again member of the first IVF team in the world. A very successful team from abroad who is investor of this centre also supervises our team.

We provide one-hour consultation for each new couple, which is unique in this country. To prevent cramming, which is detrimental for the success rate, we allow only five new couples a day only. We are situated in Banani, Dhaka, in between a lake and a field with a proper environment for a technology, which needs optimum air quality also. -Dr. Mustaque Ahmed, MBBS(Dhaka) DRM(Geneva) MMS in ART(Nottingham), Managing Director, Harvest Infertility Care Ltd.

Dear LS Editor,
Your columnist Ehsanur Raza Ronny has drawn my attention to the article 'House Pets'. I do not wish to comment on the major part of this write-up but I must take strong exception to the section on cats. The very subtitle is pejorative and his over-generalised comments betray the writer's bias against these beautiful and graceful animals.

As a cat-lover all my life, who has been fortunate to have had the company of cats in my house for several decades, I am convinced, after reading this article, that the writer knows very little about cats. I do not understand in what sense he describes them as being "the antithesis of dogs", unless it is in the matter of the way cats use their tails to express displeasure or excitement -hardly a culpable trait.

They are not "selfish" - I have had several cats who have been the soul of loving kindness, to the point of caring for another cat's kittens. They are loyal, loving, social creatures whose devotion to their family is easily demonstrable to a perceptive viewer. It is totally fallacious to declare that "all cats are alike in behaviour" - as in human beings, there are variations in character and temperament, mood and response, from one cat to another, even in members of the same litter. Not all are angels but neither are they all wicked sinners. The only part of this rather foolish paragraph that I can agree with is the statement that a "cat will own your soul", but let me expand it to include "heart" as well.

A cat in your home will enrich your life with its immensely interesting personality, providing entertainment as well as companionship. If one is lucky, its friendship may be won if the cat so chooses, but no amount of food or comfort will serve to buy its favour. A cat will be your friend and companion, never your servant. Let me end by expressing me sympathy and pity for the writer, who has missed out on one of life's more rewarding experiences. He should have talked to cat-lovers before displaying his ignorance.
Yours sincerely, Shirin H. Islam DOHS, Mohakhali.

Dear LS Editor,
Thanks and congratulations for your good decision to publish Lifestyle. All sorts of lifestyle i.e. Essentials, Spotlight, Shop talk, News Flash, Check it out, Eyes on etiquette, Outrageous, Different Sky, Banking Tips, By the way, Perspective, Random thoughts, Horoscope are really fantastic and enjoyable for all the generation. As per Bangladeshi newspaper the Lifestyle of Daily Star is different from others. I am suggesting you as a Banker to please continue to publish it with new image and style for all walks of life. With combination of entertainment, education, science, sex problem, medical suggestion, local & global politics and thereon. Thanks and regards. Yours Faithfully, Mohammad Borhan Uddin Southeast Bank Limited Bangshal Branch 14/3, North South Road Bangshal, Dhaka.



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