We have both put our respective children to bed, so that the chat can proceed smoothly. Janhavi Samant nee Rupali Sharma, Guddu to me and our close friends, is a graduate from Butic Institute of Beauty Therapy and Hairdressing. A lovely person with a cheerful smile in the face of all odds.
We have been friends since the last fifteen years. We have seen each other through a lot of ups and downs, heartbreaks and happiness. There are no secrets here, nothing that is already not known. So when I ask her questions, I already know all the answers.
We have both had kids at the same time. Both her daughters were born six months before both my daughters. We have met each others’ daughters the day they were born. In that, I saw Vaishnavi minutes after she arrived in this world. I loved her the minute I set my eyes on her. What I remember most about that moment, was that she was so alert, so intelligent! Her eyes immediately searched for me when she heard my voice. She had heard my voice many times before. I don’t know how she knew, but she knew it was me.
It is that intelligence and that sharpness of mind that comes through even today. One look at her and you know she is a passionate child. Passionate about everything and everyone. But just like passionate people, she tends to flare up at least provocation, especially now since her younger sister Tashvi is born.
“These days she doesn’t listen to instructions, especially when she is told NOT to do something,” says Guddu. “What irks me most is that she has begun boldly back answering everyone.”
I can relate with that. My daughter does the same pretty often. It could be the age-factor. “But she does it so often, I think sometimes she does it deliberately to test my patience. It is often not until I pretend to get up to whack her that she does as she is told.”
Her favorite question apparently, is ‘Why?’. “I have always encouraged her to ask questions. But that seems to have backfired in school. Her teacher gets irritated with her because of this reason. She has to handle so many kids together. It is bound to get on her nerves sometimes.”
The image of Vaishnavi asking ‘Why?’ brings a smile to my face. It must be darned difficult to raise a passionate personality like Vaishnavi. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to question authority. There are both Taurean and Capricornian elements in her, which add to the stubbornness I believe. I am sure my younger daughter Sayalee has the same personality type. Which is why I ask her for tips. How does she handle difficult situations?
“According to me, she has a speeding mind and imagination. Things go from bad to worse if she isn’t prepared about something. If she has been well informd beforehand, like daddy coming home late from work, the meltdowns are fairly reduced.”
Any other tips for me? ” Keep them engaged in activities they like. That way their surplus energy is channelized well.”
“They love you a lot, and in a way no one else can. Despite everything, despite being a daddy’s girl, if he so much as even jests about raising a finger on me, she will stand right up to him! That’s my girl, my Vaishnavi. When her younger sister was born, she went around happily telling everyone who would listen that she had a baby girl!”
“Life with Vaishnavi never has a dull moment, it’s always exciting. Sure she gets on my nerves sometimes, but which kid doesn’t? A little empathy and understanding of the way her mind works is all it takes.”
I nod my head in agreement.
And hope that I can follow her advice too.