16 and with a baby brother October 23, 2012 — by Samuel Liu A junior’s experience with his newborn brother It is the most beautiful sound in the world. It is best appreciated at 4 in the morning with three hours of sleep. It is the sound of a 4-month-old shrieking as he wakes up in the “morning.” On May 14, my little brother Timmy was born. At the time, I felt like a parent. I felt unimaginably happy, like some hole in me had been filled. And almost immediately, though, he interrupted my studies. As I rushed to the hospital room, the four-page paper that was due the next day loomed ominously in the back of my mind. I’m in an interesting situation. Whereas others in my family are woken by Timmy’s ritualistic crying at 2 a.m., I take it merely as my alarm to go to bed. And when he cries again at 4 a.m., I’m usually too deep in sleep to hear it. My cram sessions are now often interrupted by a new distraction. Since I’ve blocked Facebook and YouTube on my computer, procrastination often comes in the form of playing with Timmy. I’m proud to say that Timmy’s first word was “ge,” which means brother in Chinese. While others assert that this first word was mere babbling, I, as the sole witness, have complete control of the history of Timmy’s first word. And believe me, he said “brother.” My parents are also especially happy that they have Timmy because they finally have a replacement for me. Whenever my parents talk to each other about “your son,” it’s most likely to Timmy. When my parents refer to “his room,” they’re actually referring to my room—which is now unrecognizable due to baby paraphernalia. I have been relocated to the ground in my dad’s office. I guess it’s like going through the college experience two years early. Not that I mind, because the less attention I get the better. Among other benefits of having a newborn in the house, my parents haven’t been on Aeries this year. I’ve been astounded by Timmy’s growth. When he first came home, his daily schedule was 1.) cry, 2.) eat, 3.) sleep and 4.) repeat with little variation. Now, at 4 months, he can lift up his head and laugh out loud. He watches TV, too, which I assume is a good thing. Like any parent (or brother, whatever), I’m very proud of Timmy’s abilities. For one, his slobbering continues to astound me. Leave him on your shoulder for a while, and you’ll be sure to find a puddle, slowly turning into a waterfall that cascades down your shirt. Timmy has also mastered grab, which can be combined with slobber for the ultimate attack. His tiny hands will crush and destroy anything unfortunate enough to be caught by those hands, much like an anaconda. And if that object is free, it will most definitely end up in his mouth, covered with a layer of saliva. Speaking of saliva, I’ve just realized why Timmy’s sphere-shaped toy was wet when I was using it as a mini-basketball. Then again, I’ve dropped that thing on the ground a countless amount of times, so I’ll call it even.