“Do you want a little brother or sister?”

Please don’t ask our daughter if she wants a little brother or sister. Just don’t.  

A 2-year old does not understand that this question is just a passive aggressive jab at a parent whom you have just branded “selfish” for “only having one child”, instead of a literal offer of a sister or brother. She only hears you asking her if she wants a younger sibling, right after you just offered her a free sticker. She says “yes” and looks around the room, apparently to see if the little sister you just offered her is in the same basket as the stickers, ready to come home with her. 

If you only knew how many years I prayed for a living child. How we didn’t share the news of this pregnancy with coworkers and friends until I was over six months along (and Willow had finally reached viability stage). How much it hurts every time someone tells me it’s “time for another” or makes disparaging remarks about children with no siblings.  If you only knew how my heart aches when Willow’s daycare provider says that she is so gentle with the new baby at daycare and would be a good big sister. If you could feel just a fraction of the yearning and grief that we have lived through, or the overwhelming gratitude that we have for the miracle that we have been blessed with. 
But you do not know, you cannot possibly know, nor do I know you well enough to even start to explain why your question is inappropriate and hurtful.  

Willow Mei is enough. She is more than enough. She fills our days and our lives with joy, love, laughter, challenges, learning, and  so very many reasons to be grateful. She brightens up the room and lightens even the heaviest of hearts. She has given hope to others, and has been a blessing to all who know and love her. Please do not insinuate that we are any less of a family for having one perfectly loved and wanted child, and please… please do not offer our little girl something that she cannot have. 

One thought on ““Do you want a little brother or sister?”

  1. Well put, but consider the source of this commonly-asked question and write it off to ignorance (in the original sense of the word). I used to reply to this by asking “Why? Do you have one to spare?” This cut the conversation short, no offence was taken and that person never asked again. 😀


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